What Causes Noisy Breathing?

Bet you never really thought about noisy breathers, other than if they were interrupting you or in your personal space. We first learned about Strider (noisy breathing) and Subglottic Stenosis after having 29wk g/g twins in Dec 2011. One of them had a hoarse cry and noisy breathing. You can learn more on noisy breathing here.

After a visit with an ENT we decided to see if she outgrew it. All was well until July 2013 when we found ourselves at http://www.mottchildren.org hospital. After a one week stay we were discharged with a diagnosis of Asthma and possible BPD and follow-ups that included an ENT and swallow study.

After a swallow study that showed aspiration we visited with the ENT where he did a scope to check her airway.  As reference an adult’s airway is the size of a quarter, a child’s the size of a dime, he believed hers is the size of a coffee straw.  When we get a cold we build up mucous in that area that further restricts our breathing. Since we are heading into fall it was important to find out what was going on as quickly as possible.

Tomorrow we will find out. They will do a sedated scope to see what the restriction looks like and if it is restricted they are recommending a laryngotracheal reconstruction, using cartilage from  her thyroid. This is the best description of the procedure (I haven’t watched the video, some things are better left to mom’s imagination) http://www.chop.edu/service/airway-disorders/conditions-we-treat/subglottic-stenosis.html

As you can imagine tons of questions and lots of worry. The advantage of using the thyroid cartilage vs. rib is one less incision and less risk to her lungs. What does the surgery and recovery look like? 2-3 hour surgery, 4-5 days of sedation and 2 wks in the hospital. That’s what we know going in, I’m hoping to use this blog to share our story as we learn the ins and outs of subglottic stenosis (we’ll share lots of other stuff too, but right now this is our focus). Thank you for reading



  1. Praying!!!

  2. Love to all 4 of you!! Can’t imagine the stress, but like you said breathe! One day at a time. I will have you all in my thoughts.

  3. Be strong. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thanks for sharing. Stay strong. Love to all of you.

  5. Thinking happy thoughts for strength during this time of discovery and healing!

  6. Sending prayers, thoughts and strength. Xoxo

  7. The candle we lit as we arose this morning keeps a visible reminder for us of your vigil, and reminds us to stop when we see the light and send you positive energy thoughts, to buoy you.

    Our prayer requests are for your medical team to be strong, wise, and to use their plethora of training and skill as you all walk through this important part of Sutton’s repair and recovery.

    True calm and peace to you guys.

    Trish & Don


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