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Before your visit to the Center for Airway Disorders

We may ask that you send us your child’s medical records or other relevant information before your first visit with us. These can be faxed to 617-730-0337.

During your visit

You and your child may meet with specialists from several different disciplines. These specialists may include otolaryngologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, speech-language therapists, and physician assistants.

We will perform a thorough physical examination and take a detailed history. Your child’s visit may also include tests such as an endoscopic evaluation, feeding evaluation, or both. Depending on the length of these procedures, you should expect to spend 60 to 90 minutes with us for the appointment.

We ask for any adult attending a visit at Boston Children’s please have a photo ID on them. Adults may be asked to show photo ID prior to entering the hospital.

Diagnostic tests

Depending on your child’s unique situation, we may recommend one or more diagnostic tests. These may include:

  • Clinic feeding evaluation: Our speech-language pathologists specialize in feeding and swallowing. If you are scheduled to meet with a member of our feeding team, please be sure to have your child’s milk or formula and preferred bottle or cup available. Refrain from feeding your child one to two hours prior to your appointment to ensure that we can conduct a feeding evaluation.
  • X-ray: An x-ray is a picture taken of your child’s bones and organs by a large camera that uses small amounts of radiation to take pictures of the inside of their body.
  • Modified barium swallow study: This test can help clinicians determine whether your child is inhaling food or liquid into their lungs (aspirating). The test uses a radio-opaque substance called barium to coat the food or liquid your child will consume. This makes food and drink visible on the fluoroscopy machine as it passes from your child’s mouth through their esophagus.
  • Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES): This test allows clinicians to evaluate your child’s ability to eat and swallow. A tiny camera is inserted through the nose, allowing clinicians to watch your child’s larynx (voice box) while they eat and drink. This helps determine the safest way for your child to take food and liquid, and it helps clinicians make a more informed plan for treatment.