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Pediatric Aerodigestive Care

Most of us take the ability to breathe, eat and swallow for granted. When something goes wrong, as it sometimes can, it can greatly impact the quality of life for a child and the whole family. The Pediatric Aerodigestive Program at Ochsner is here with solutions. This is where parents and referring pediatricians turn for coordinated, comprehensive evaluation and management of complex airway, respiratory and gastrointestinal tract disorders. Ours is one of only 50 or so programs of its kind in the country.

Ochsner’s Pediatric Aerodigestive Program is the most comprehensive pediatric aerodigestive care program in Louisiana and Mississippi. Our program takes a collaborative approach to problem solving. Depending on your child’s needs, they will receive expert care from a multidisciplinary team, including a pediatric ENT, a pulmonologist, a gastroenterologist, a dietitian and a speech therapist.

With the help of our dedicated Aerodigestive Coordinator, your child will be seen by multiple specialists at one time, in one setting, for a convenient, comprehensive assessment. With thorough exams and innovative imaging techniques, we can assess your child’s swallowing, breathing, pulmonary issues and nutritional needs. If an endoscopic evaluation is necessary, your child will require anesthesia only once, rather than multiple times for each specialist. Then our team works together to develop a unique treatment plan for your child.

Meet The Team

As part of Louisiana’s only nationally ranked children’s hospital, every member of the Pediatric Aerodigestive team has a unique understanding of how children think and react – what they need when they’re not feeling well. Our treatment plan includes kindness and empathy.

At Ochsner, we’re committed to providing safe, timely, quality care and consider our patients’ families to be an integral part of our team. We find a family-centered approach leads to better outcomes.

To schedule an appointment, please contact our aerodigestive coordinator at 504-842-4983 or call 504-842-4080.

For referrals for Baton Rouge Pediatric Aerodigestive Care:

Fax: 504-754-6428
Phone: 225-761-5200

  • Airway masses, cysts or scars
  • Airway stenosis ­– narrowing of the airway
  • Aspiration – when materials enter the airway instead of the esophagus
  • Bronchiectasis ­– scarring of lung tissue
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia and other chronic lung diseases – conditions associated with prematurity and prolonged ventilation
  • Chronic cough a lingering cough of uncertain cause
  • Gastroesophageal reflux ­– when stomach contents come into the esophagus or throat
  • Laryngeal cleft – when the larynx (voice box) is open in the back allowing for food or liquids to be aspirated
  • Laryngomalacia – collapse of the voice box
  • Sialorrhea – excessive saliva, which may cause issues with aspiration and pneumonia
  • Swallowing disorder/dysphagia – feeding or swallowing problems
  • Tracheobronchomalacia – softness or compression of the trachea or bronchi
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula/esophageal atresia – a congenital condition (present at birth) in which the airway and esophagus are connected
  • Tracheostomy dependence
  • Vocal cord paralysis/immobility – when one or both vocal cords do not move

In-office and operating room procedures include but are not limited to:

  • Adenoidectomy – adenoid removal
  • Airway endoscopy – a diagnostic tool that allows for direct visualization of the airway
  • Airway and esophagus dilation and other endoscopic surgeries
  • Airway reconstruction – both open and endoscopic
  • Choanal atresia repair – repair of a blockage by bone or tissue of the nasal passages (choana) leading from the back of the nose to the throat
  • Esophagoscopy ­­– a procedure that allows the doctor to examine the inside of the esophagus using a long thin instrument called an endoscope
  • Function endoscopic evaluations of swallow (FEES) – used to assess how well a child swallows
  • Laryngeal cleft repair ­­– repair of a space or gap between the larynx and esophagus that can cause aspiration, eating and breathing problems.
  • Nasal surgery
  • Supraglottoplasty – a microscopic surgical procedure to alter malformed structures of the upper larynx, allowing a child with conditions such as severe laryngomalacia to breathe more easily
  • Tongue-base procedures – repair of a tongue-based obstruction (TBO), a developmental defect that causes the tongue to fully or partially the airway
  • Tonsillectomy – tonsil removal

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