Complete Tracheal Rings | Diagnosis & Treatment

How are complete tracheal rings diagnosed?

Your child’s doctor will need to look at images of the trachea in order to make a diagnosis of tracheal rings. The visualization test that is used is called bronchoscopy. During this procedure, your child will receive general anesthesia so that the trachea can be examined using a tube called a bronchoscope. The doctor will view the airway and determine whether or not your child has complete tracheal rings.

This is a very safe procedure, and your child will recover quickly. After the test is complete, our team of experts will meet to review and discuss what they have learned about your child's condition. Then we will meet with you and your family to discuss the results and outline the best treatment options.

What are the treatment options for complete tracheal rings?

Complete tracheal rings can vary in severity. Milder forms can sometimes be monitored with close observation. Children with less severe symptoms may not require surgery.

However, in many cases, surgery will be required to treat the disorder. Our doctors are experts in surgical interventions, which include:

  • Segmental Tracheal Resection: During this procedure, surgeons remove the defective tracheal segment and then repair the airway by suturing (attaching) the remaining ends back together. This surgery is an option if your child has a few complete tracheal rings arranged in a short segment.
  • Slide tracheoplasty: Our surgeons are experts in this complex procedure to make the airway larger. During this surgery, the narrowed trachea is divided across the middle of stenosis (the area where the airway is narrowed). A portion of the lower and upper tracheal segments are cut and then attached, resulting in an airway that is wider and shorter than before.