A Collaborative Approach to Care for Children with Breathing and Swallowing Problems

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is one of a limited number of aerodigestive programs in Ohio. We bring together experts across multiple pediatric specialties to care for children with breathing, swallowing and digestive conditions. With this multidisciplinary approach, our care team is able to develop tailored treatment plans for each child. Conditions affecting the aerodigestive system, including upper airways, lungs, esophagus, stomach and small intestine, are often interrelated. By integrating highly specialized physicians and experts into one team, we are able to provide a more comprehensive approach to your child’s care.

All the Specialists You Need Conveniently Located in One Place

As one of few pediatric aerodigestive programs in the region, we have the breadth of expertise and depth of experience needed to treat children and adolescents with complex aerodigestive conditions, including respiratory disorders, ear, nose and throat issues and digestive disorders. Typically, these disorders make it difficult for a child to breathe, swallow or digest food properly.

We know more complex care affects the entire family so we coordinate all of your child’s appointments with various Rainbow pediatrics specialists together – all under one roof. Some of the pediatric specialists your child may see include:

If surgery or minimally invasive procedures are necessary, we’re also able to perform multiple procedures that might require sedation or anesthesia - all at one time. Our surgical team may include pediatric maxillofacial surgery, pediatric dentistry, pediatric thoracic and cardiovascular surgery and general pediatric surgery.

We are committed to offering minimally disruptive treatments and minimizing the overall time required for care, so patients and their families can lead as normal a life as possible. Much of our follow-up care is also available at convenient locations throughout northeast Ohio.

Advanced Therapies for Aerodigestive Disorders

We offer a comprehensive range of diagnostic procedures and treatment options for children with airway, breathing and swallowing disorders. Our diagnostic services and therapies may include:

  • Advanced repair of airway lesions: From the nose to the tiny air sacs of the lungs, our team can repair or reconstruct airways for improved breathing.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: Used to take many detailed pictures of your esophagus, using X-rays to capture these pictures.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Using MRI with 3-D reconstruction and vascular imaging, our team takes detailed images of your esophagus and other parts of your body.
  • Esophageal impedance-pH monitoring: A procedure used to measure the amount of reflux in your esophagus during a 24-hour period.
  • Flexible or rigid laryngoscopy: Using a thin viewing tube, our team is able to evaluate the entire airway.
  • High-resolution esophageal manometry: This tests your esophagus function.
  • Lung function testing: A lung function test is a non-invasive test that help determine pulmonary function.
  • Nasal nitric oxide testing: A sample of your breath is taken when you exhale into a device to test for primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD).
  • Triple endoscopy: Procedure that views your airways and upper digestive system through a small scope.
  • Immunotherapy: A type of treatment that uses the body’s immune system to fight diseases.

In addition, for our patients with aerodigestive disorders, we also offer therapeutic treatment options:

  • Occupational therapy: Treatment that encourages rehabilitation through the performance of activities required in daily life.
  • Respiratory therapy: A type of therapy used for patients who have trouble or difficulty breathing.
  • Speech therapy: We provide advanced speech therapy for aspiration and other swallowing disorders.
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