Laryngeal cleft is an indentation in the back of the larynx and trachea, which can sometimes obstruct the airway. A child may have trouble with choking on foods and liquids, wheezing and recurrent upper respiratory or lung infections, and/or gasping or respiratory difficulty when eating or drinking. Severe cases of laryngeal cleft can lead to pulmonary aspiration.
Treatment is based on the classification of the cleft and the severity of symptoms. Some children with type one (least severe classification) clefts may be asymptomatic and require no intervention. More severe cases may require surgical repair. Surgical intervention in cases of severe laryngeal cleft are considered in order to avoid development of lung disease or respiratory failure caused by chronic aspiration.
For more information about laryngeal cleft, please speak with your child's physician.