13 February 2013

La-Ryngo-Ma What?

Today we traveled to Cleveland yet again to see another specialist for Luke.  Today it was an otolaryngolist, more recognizably known as an Ear, Nose and Throat or ENT doctor.  Since we were discharged from the NICU, we've noticed a nasally, congested sound and corresponding chest retractions when Luke takes a breath and our pediatrician referred us to an ENT, thus today's appointment.  Poor Luke had a small scope placed through his nose down into his throat and it was determined that Luke has Laryngomalacia

Laryngomalacia is a congenital softening of the tissues of the larynx (voice box) above the vocal cords. This is the most common cause of noisy breathing in infancy. The laryngeal structure is malformed and floppy, causing the tissues to fall over the airway opening and partially block it.
For most infants, laryngomalacia is not a serious condition — they have noisy breathing, but are able to eat and grow. For these infants, laryngomalacia will resolve without surgery by the time they are 18 to 20 months old. However, a small percentage of babies with laryngomalacia do struggle with breathing, eating and gaining weight.

As of now Luke has been gaining weight beautifully and the ENT didn't appear to be overly concerned.  It is suspected that the low muscle tone associated with Down Syndrome is to blame for his "floppy airway" and hopefully it will resolve itself as he grows.  We are going back for a follow up in 6 weeks.

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