Aerodigestive Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The Aerodigestive Clinic, part of the Mayo Clinic Children's Center, sees children with complex conditions of the upper airway, lungs and upper digestive tract, including problems with sleep and feeding.  Examples of conditions include:

  • Airway stenosis (narrowing of the airway)
  • Aspiration (substances such as stomach contents or secretions inhaled into the airway or respiratory tract)
  • Esophageal dysmotility (problems with moving food through the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach)
  • Esophageal stricture (narrowing of the esophagus)
  • Laryngeal cleft (abnormal opening between the larynx and esophagus)
  • Sleep disordered breathing (abnormal breathing patterns during sleep)
  • Tracheoesophageal fistula (abnormal connection between the trachea and esophagus)
  • Tracheostomy
  • Vocal cord paralysis

Team approach, tailored to your child's needs

Using an integrated practice model, Mayo Clinic coordinates care across many specialties and subspecialties, bringing the Aerodigestive Clinic team members together on a weekly basis to discuss treatment plans specific to each child.

The Aerodigestive Clinic team will complete an evaluation of your child, usually over a 5-day period. You'll meet with several specialists, and your child will likely have a series of procedures and tests. Then the team meets to discuss their findings and recommend a treatment plan that's specific to your child's needs.

Mayo's Aerodigestive Clinic offers a wide range of expertise, including:

  • A dedicated pediatrician, who evaluates the overall health and provides a holistic view of your child's needs and family goals
  • A clinical nurse coordinator, who assists your child and family in understanding, coordinating and implementing the treatment plan

Depending on your child's needs, other team members may include:

  • Pediatric nurse practitioner
  • Pediatric subspecialists
    • Otorhinolaryngologist (for ears, nose and throat or ENT conditions)
    • Gastroenterologist (for digestive disorders)
    • Pulmonologist (for lung conditions and diseases)
    • Medical geneticist (for disorders and diseases involving genes and heredity)
    • Neurologist (for nervous system disorders)
    • Physiatrist (for physical medicine and rehabilitation issues)
    • Psychologist (for concerns related to emotional and mental health)
    • Sleep medicine expert (for sleep-related disorders)
  • Dietitian
  • Physical/occupational therapist
  • Social worker
  • Speech pathologist

You can be assured that any tests or procedures that require anesthesia are coordinated to minimize your child's exposure to anesthesia.

Read more about the Aerodigestive Clinic at Mayo Clinic Children's Center.


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