Tracheomalacia

Also known as: congenital tracheomalacia, acquired tracheomalacia.

What is tracheomalacia?

When the walls of the trachea (windpipe) are weak or floppy, the result is tracheomalacia. This causes the windpipe to actually collapse as the person is breathing and make it difficult to draw a breath.
 

What causes tracheomalacia? 

In many cases, undeveloped cartilage in a newborn baby causes the weakness of the trachea and leads to tracheomalacia. Other times, an injury or accident leads to the condition.
 

What are the symptoms of tracheomalacia? 

Tracheomalacia can cause difficulty breathing characterized by high-pitched noises, frequent lung infection, coughing, choking during feeding, blue skin and other symptoms.
 

What are tracheomalacia care options?

Mild cases of tracheomalacia require close monitoring to ensure that they don’t get worse. If tracheomalacia is severe, it will require surgical repair.

Reviewed by: Brian Ho, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:10:43 PM

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January Patient of the Month: Layla
When Layla was 5, she came to Nicklaus Children's Hospital with a severe case of scoliosis. To help straighten her spine, Layla spent time in halo gravity traction. While her mom returned home to Gainesville for work and school, the nurses at Nicklaus Children's took care of Layla, acting as substitute mothers and making sure she was well cared for.
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When Layla was 5, she came to Nicklaus Children's Hospital with a severe case of scoliosis. To help straighten her spine, Layla spent time in halo gravity traction. While her mom returned home to Gainesville for work and school, the nurses at Nicklaus Children's took care of Layla, acting as substitute mothers and making sure she was well cared for.