Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

Leading-Edge Surgical Techniques Allow Patients to Breathe Better

Breathing is a basic life function. For individuals experiencing breathing difficulties due to congenital defects, external injury or medical procedures, such as prolonged intubation, airway reconstruction can be life-changing. University of Florida Health is one of the few centers in the southeastern United States with a team of specialists who have the expertise to rebuild airways in patients with complex breathing issues. These experts are highly skilled at open and endoscopic airway reconstruction.

According to Neil Chheda, M.D., chief of the division of laryngology in the department of otolaryngology, the approach at the University of Florida College of Medicine – part of UF Health, the Southeast’s most comprehensive academic health center – is multidisciplinary. “Our coordinated approach involves pulmonary, thoracic and anesthesiology specialists working together to ensure the best possible surgical outcomes for our patients.”

Patients benefit from the experienced surgical team at UF Health who perform hundreds of airway reconstructions each year. A large proportion of these procedures are completed endoscopically. “At our facility we’ve found that we can execute many procedures through the mouth, limiting the need for incisions in the neck,” explains Chheda.

The UF team is advancing new endoscopic procedures and techniques, providing nearly unlimited treatment options for patients with breathing issues. But care doesn’t end with surgery. Patients may need swallowing and voice rehabilitation after airway reconstruction. 

Concludes Chheda, “With our multidisciplinary team we can ensure that every patient receives the customized treatment he or she needs for as long as it’s needed.” Such individualized treatment is the cornerstone of care at UF Health.

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