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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: Infant Tracheomalacia


 Roach5 - Mon May 04, 2009 6:04 pm

My pediatrician believes that my 1 month old daughter suffers from Tracheomalacia (which is not severe enough to cause gastroesophageal reflux) and has referred her to a specialist. He indicated that, if diagnosed, she would be closely monitored but there is no treatment for the condition, unless it is severe enough to block the airway and/or deprive her of oxygen. What is the advantage of subjecting her to all of the testing to get a formal diagnosis?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu May 14, 2009 3:01 pm

User avatar Hello --

Tracheomalacia will not progress to GERD, but is a problem all its own. It is sometimes problematic and can require treatment or at least close followup until and unless it resolves on its own, which it often does between 18-24 months of age. In tracheomalacia the trachea is, from birth, floppy, the cartilege forming the trachea is soft, and there is sometimes a fine line between this and normal, because babies do have rather soft and flexible tracheas anyway. If the child's breathing is noisy with crowing, wheezing, etc., or these things arise during feeding or crying, then the diagnosis is probably tracheomalacia, but a laryngoscopic exam is the only sure way to be certain. If this is confirmed then the child needs to be observed closely for any sort of abnormal breath sounds or difficulties as outlined above. Again, this most often resolves on its own by age two at the latest. If not, or if difficulties become pronounced, it may require medical intervention, which can include minor surgery. Usually this isn't necessary.

I hope this helps answer your question. It is best to know for sure if this is the problem so that appropriate measures can be taken if diffculties develop. Please follow up with us here as needed.

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