Aerodigestive Program

The Aerodigestive Program at Lurie Children’s serves children with complex airway, pulmonary, upper digestive, sleep and swallowing disorders. Our team strives to provide patient and family centered care in a coordinated, safe, and compassionate manner. As regional leaders in pediatric healthcare, we aim to serve local, national and international populations with an emphasis on personalized care.

Putting the Pieces Together

We value the coordination of care and believe that by working collaboratively we can provide the best individualized care for children with complex Aerodigestive disorders. The Otolaryngology team works closely with the Pulmonary, Gastroenterology and Speech and Language Pathology teams to look at the bigger picture of your child’s health. This approach helps to limit exposure to anesthesia (if required for further evaluation) while getting as much information as needed to guide treatment.

Some examples of treatment outcomes through our Aerodigestive program include maximizing pulmonary function, controlling acid reflux, preventing aspiration due to anatomical abnormalities and safely removing tracheostomies through our decannulation program. Everything we do reflects our commitment to meet the needs and priorities of the family, with the ultimate goal of allowing children to live up to their fullest potential.

Who Are We?

Collaborating Subspecialties

Disorders We Manage

  • Airway Stenosis (subglottic stenosis, glottic stenosis, laryngeal web, laryngeal atresia, tracheal stenosis, complete tracheal rings)
  • Aspiration
  • Bronchomalacia​
  • Chronic Lung Disease
  • Esophageal Disorders
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)​
  • Laryngeal Cleft
  • Laryngomalacia
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disorder (LPRD)
  • Noisy breathing
  • Sleep Disordered Breathing/Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula
  • Tracheomalacia
  • Tracheostomy Dependence​
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis

What to Expect

  • Clinic Evaluations with Aerodigestive Specialty Services
  • Your child may require further studies such as:
    • Videofluoroscopic swallow study
    • Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallow (FEES)
    • High Resolution CT scan of chest
    • Esophogram
    • Microdirect laryngoscopy/bronchoscopy (MLB)
    • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) with esophageal biopsies​
    • Ph Impedance Study
    • Laboratory tests
    • Pulmonary Function Tests
    • Voice Evaluation
    • Sleep Study​

Make an Appointment

If you’d like to request an appointment with one of our specialists, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC).​​

Breathing Easier Thanks to Our Aerodigestive Program

Born with her vocal cords fused together and subglottic stenosis, Madison, 1, underwent laryngeotracheal reconstruction, enlarging her narrow airway. Read Madison's Story