Pediatric Aerodigestive Program
The Pediatric Aerodigestive Program, located in NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, serves the complex medical needs of children with a chronic gastrointestinal condition that leads to respiratory symptoms. Many of our young patients have already seen multiple specialists and received very different advice about how to manage their medical condition.
Our team is known for its exceptional diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents with airway, breathing, and swallowing disorders originating in the aerodigestive tract (throat, vocal cords, windpipe, esophagus, and stomach), including problems with sleep and feeding. We develop a comprehensive care plan tailored to the needs of each family.
A Team Approach
Because aerodigestive conditions are complex, a multidisciplinary team approach is critical for the proper diagnosis, most effective treatment, and best outcome for your child. The Aerodigestive Program brings together pediatric specialists in gastroenterology, pulmonology, otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat), sleep, speech pathology, and many other subspecialties, providing highly integrated care for your child. Our approach helps reduce unnecessary visits and testing and leads to a precise diagnosis and treatment plan.
A dedicated coordinator serves as the point person for all your child’s subspecialists and helps coordinate your clinic visits, diagnostic procedures, and operating room visits.
What to Expect
Your child’s initial evaluation will involve appointments with several specialists, which may take place over several days. We will review your child’s medical records and diagnostic tests he or she may have done with other specialists. We may ask to watch your child eat, so please remember to bring foods that your child likes.
Our coordinator will help schedule necessary appointments and keep visits to a minimum. Specialists your child may meet include:
- Gastroenterologist (digestive/gastrointestinal issues)
- Pulmonologist (lung and breathing problems)
- Otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat conditions)
- Sleep medicine specialist
- Medical geneticist
Depending on your child’s symptoms, we may also schedule one or more of these tests:
- Imaging studies may include X-ray, modified barium swallow, upper GI series, and CT scans, which enable different views of the aerodigestive tract.
- Flexible bronchoscopy looks at the lung’s airways to evaluate whether they are blocked or narrowed, contain abnormal secretions (mucous) or a foreign body, and are in the right position in the lungs.
- Upper endoscopy with biopsy looks at the esophagus, stomach, and a portion of small intestine
- Impedance-pH probe and wireless capsule pH monitor for gastroesophageal reflux
- Laryngoscopy evaluates your child’s airways for scarring and structural problems.
- Lung function tests include a variety of tests that look at how well the lungs are working.
- Sleep studies evaluate your child’s sleep pattern.
Some diagnostic and therapeutic procedures require a hospital stay. Our team will coordinate your child’s care so that visits and anesthesia are kept to a minimum. A child life specialist is always available to help your child understand our evaluation and any necessary treatment or procedure.
Your child’s team of specialists will meet to go over the test results and come up with a comprehensive care plan for your child. Treatment and therapy may include medication, speech language therapy, or surgery.
Among the cutting edge therapeutic procedures we offer are:
- Esophageal dilation
- Gastrointestinal BoTox injections
- Posterior laryngeal cleft repair
If surgery is necessary, your child will be in the care of a world-renowned pediatric surgical team with some of the best outcomes in the country.
Conditions We Treat
Aerodigestive disorders include conditions that affect the throat, vocal cords, airway, lungs, esophagus, and stomach. They can include sleep and swallowing disorders, breathing disorders, and digestive disorders. Our center cares for children with a full range of aerodigestive conditions, including:
- Airway stenosis
- Chronic recurrent pneumonia
- Noisy breathing
- Posterior laryngeal cleft
- Esophageal dysmotility
- Esophageal stricture
- Sleep disordered breathing
- Esophageal atresia/Tracheoesophageal fistula
- Vocal cord dysfunction
- Julie Khlevner, MD
- Susannah Hills, MD
Pediatric ENT specialist
- Meyer Kattan, MD
- Elle Quinn, MS, CF-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist