What to Expect

Comprehensive Patient Care

What to Expect

If you are referred to the Northwestern Medicine Complex Airway and Tracheal Surgery Program, you will first undergo a comprehensive evaluation by a surgeon, pulmonologist (lung specialist) and otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist).

Based on this evaluation, we will carefully review the recommended treatment course with you and your family members.

Complex airway problems require sophisticated X-ray evaluation. Northwestern Medicine radiologists have access to leading-edge equipment and lead the field of chest imaging nationally. A close collaboration among anesthesiologists, radiologists, interventional pulmonologists and voice specialists will help ensure you receive the best possible treatment and outcome.

In the operating room, while you are under general anesthesia, we will examine your airway (trachea and bronchi) using a bronchoscope—a thin, tube-like imaging instrument—for precise evaluation and measurements. Northwestern Medicine interventional pulmonologist and otolaryngologists work closely with the thoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists to make sure we secure your airway while we inspect your entire respiratory track carefully. Our highly skilled anesthesiologists are amongst the most experienced nationwide in dealing with complex airway diseases.

After any surgery, your surgeon will review the procedure recovery and course of treatment with you and your family. Your treatment plan will be designed to help ensure the best possible outcome, and we maintain communication with your referring physician as an important part of your care team.