Posted by: monique | 2011-09-08

baby with a webbed airway

My son was born with half of his airway webbed. This affects his voice greatly. He had the web removed at 7 mos old and a stent was put in place. After removal of the stent and healing the web came back. He had the surgery again last month at 10 mos old and another stent was put in place. It caused many complications. He was rushed to the hospital twice in 3 days and the ENT decided they wanted him intibated for 1 week with a breathing and feeding tube. This past week we had an appointment in which he was scoped to see how he was doing bc his voice still is very low and his cry Is very low and high pitched. The findings were that the web is back at 25%. Where do we go from here? There is only so much we can put him through at such a young age. I can''t imagine putting through getting a trach. Any suggestions?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Monique

This is one of the most difficult problems to dealwith in a young patient, as the nature of these webs in the glottic/subglottic area are to close up as soon as they are opened. Time will tell how effective the treatment may be, and doing a tracheostomy may be a life saving procedure if required. Your ENT will work closely with your Paediatrician, and the team usually decide when intervention is required. The reality is that your son can not live without an airway, and your doctor will aim to achieve an adequate airway, whilst waiting for him to grow, and helping himself to open his airway. Unfortunately there are no guarantees with this type of problem, and it is impossible to predict how long it will take to overcome the problem. If a traceostomy can be avoided, your doctor will definitely do so, but it is also his/her duty to protect your child's airway.
The use of stents create its own set of problems, as one is inserting a foreign body in the airway, which causes irritation, and ultimately the granulation tissue will close up the airway. After every procedure ,one may find that the airway is a little better for longer, but it will always try and close up again. One will eventually reach the point where the amount of closure is of no significance, in which case your son may breathe easily. Other factors such as infections make the problem worse, causing swelling to an already compromised airway.
This is a longterm problem, with no easy solution or guarantees, but with constant monitoring of the airway, one will be able to manage the problem. If as a last resort your doctor suggests a traceostomy, remember that this is temporary, and can be removed after the problem is solved. His voice will get better with time, and should not be the main concern now, as beinb able to breathe is far more important at this stage.


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Our users say:
Posted by: Kimberly Turner | 2016-08-08

My baby was born with a webbed airway and ENT preformed surgery on her at 2weeks old at St Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, IN. They lasered a section and left a section leaving a space between so scare tissue would not form. She seems fine 19yrs now. My husband died of pulmonary fibrosis a few months ago. He suffered from sleep apnea really bad. In retrospect I believe my daughter got a webbed air from him.

Reply to Kimberly Turner
Posted by: monique | 2011-09-16

Sorry if you are confused about the message about my 70 year old grandmother Lydia. She asked me to ask you that for her.

Reply to monique
Posted by: Monique | 2011-09-16

Thank you so much for your response about my baby. I was just wondering if you think he can have normal healthy life with only 25% of the airway webbed? Can that percentage really make it hard for him to breathe? Despite the webbing that he has had since he was born he never had a breathing issue until the stent was placed. Then when it was removed his breathing was good again.

Reply to Monique
Posted by: lydia | 2011-09-16

I an 70 years old .The issue I have is constant music ringing in my ear day and night. I hear it very clearly and it is very annoying. Do u have any idea what could be causing this and is it common? I do have high blood pressure. Just in case that information helps. I don''t have any mental health issues. I know one would wonder with something like this. Thank you

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