Airway Stenosis

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-8300

Airway stenosis (airway narrowing) is a narrowing of the airway caused by malignant and benign tumors, congenital abnormalities, airway injury, endotracheal intubation, tracheostomy, autoimmune diseases, and infections. Most cases of tracheal stenosis develop as a result of prolonged intubation or from a prior tracheostomy.

Airway stenosis is named according to the location of the narrowing along the airway from the larynx or voice box (laryngotracheal stenosis) to the trachea (tracheal stenosis) and bronchi (bronchial stenosis).

We feature advanced imaging technology to create a 3-D reconstruction of the area of stenosis for better definition and treatment planning. We work closely with UT Southwestern pulmonologistsotolaryngologistsoncologists, and speech pathologists to deliver multidisciplinary and comprehensive care – all in one location, and usually in the same day.


Airway stenosis or narrowing or the trachea may result in:

  • Cough
  • Coughing up phlegm or blood
  • Frequent bouts of pneumonia
  • Noisy breathing (stridor, wheezing)
  • Shortness of breath


If we suspect that you have airway stenosis, we will conduct a physical examination and order studies to confirm the diagnosis.

Tests, procedures, and advanced imaging modalities provide the necessary information to evaluate and diagnose airway stenosis. These can include:


Our team of highly skilled thoracic surgeons uses a variety of state-of-the-art techniques, including tracheal reconstruction, to preserve the airway (larynx, trachea, and bronchi) and voice.

Treatments include:

  • Airway stenting: Use of a hollow tube to hold the trachea open
  • Bronchoscopic and/or balloon dilation (expansion) of the trachea: To allow better airflow
  • Laser bronchoscopy: Use of a laser to destroy abnormal tissue causing the stenosis or obstruction
  • Removal or resection and reconstruction of the narrow portion of the trachea: The damaged portion of the airway is removed and the remaining ends are joined together

Related Conditions

Our Thoracic Surgery team treats the full range of thoracic (chest) conditions that can be associated with airway stenosis. These include:

Clinical Trials

UT Southwestern conducts clinical trials aimed at improving the treatment of airway stenosis. Talk with your doctor to see if a clinical trial is right for you.

Find a Clinical Trial

Search for opportunities to participate in a lung disease or asthma research study.


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Showing 4 locations

Otolaryngology Clinic

at West Campus Building 3 2001 Inwood Road, 6th and 7th Floor
Dallas, Texas 75390
214-645-8898 Directions Parking Info

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at UT Southwestern Pediatric Group at Plano 7609 Preston Road, 3rd Floor, Suite P3500
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