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A laryngeal cleft (or laryngotracheal cleft) is an abnormal opening between the larynx and the esophagus through which food and liquid are in danger of passing into the lungs. This causes a number of eating and breathing problems.
The Center for Airway Disorders at Boston Children's Hospital is designed to care for children with rare conditions of the airway. Our team provides the most advanced testing and airway treatments available.
When the larynx (voice box) develops normally, it is completely separate from the esophagus, so swallowed foods go directly into the stomach. A laryngeal cleft (or laryngotracheal cleft) is an abnormal opening between the larynx and the esophagus through which food and liquid can pass through the larynx into the lungs.
Laryngeal clefts are classified in one of four ways:
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