What is tracheomalacia?
Tracheomalacia is a congenital problem that arises from diminished cartilage support of the trachea. The weakened area of trachea collapses more easily during expiration and prolongs expiration, or prevents expectoration and causes trapping of secretions.
Symptoms of tracheomalacia vary but include chronic cough, prolongation of lower respiratory tract infections, exercise intolerance, respiratory distress, apnea, recurrent pneumonia and recurrent bronchitis.
How is tracheomalacia diagnosed?
The diagnosis of tracheomalacia is best made by examination of the trachea in the operating room with a flexible or rigid telescope.
How is tracheomalacia treated?
Most children outgrow symptoms of tracheomalacia as they mature however some patients with very severe symptoms require surgical treatment. Mild symptoms are usually managed with medications.