June 16, 2016

Airway Disorders

Airway Disorders

Airway disorders include abnormalities that affect the anatomy of the upper airway (throat and trachea).
Patients present with difficulty breathing that may be gradual or sudden. Causes of airway obstruction include swelling from infections and inflammatory diseases, benign or malignant tumors, or scar tissue that narrows the breathing passage.

Specific treatments are aimed at the underlying cause and may include medications and/or surgical intervention. Dr. King performs in-office endoscopy with specialized scopes to make the diagnosis quickly and safely.


Lasers are frequently used to treat airway disorders. Peak ENT physicians have extensive training in the use of a variety of laser types to treat laryngeal and tracheal lesions. Advanced technology has made possible minimally invasive techniques that are sometimes carried out under local anesthesia (without sedation) in the Summit Office in Broomfield. Dr. King is the only ENT surgeon in the state of Colorado performing these procedures.

Subglottic Stenosis

The subglottis is the upper trachea just below the vocal cords. Subglottic stenosis (narrowing) can result from infections, autoimmune diseases, severe reflux disease, or trauma. In some cases no cause can be identified (idiopathic). When the narrowing significantly impairs breathing, laser surgery and dilation of the narrowed segment can often achieve a normal tracheal airway diameter.