What is a tracheostomy?
A tracheostomy is a procedure that places a tube into a person’s windpipe, allowing them to breathe through the tube rather than their mouth, nose, and throat.
Tracheostomies are performed when a person experiences a restricted airway. However, a tracheostomy should be a last resort; there are many procedures which can be performed to relieve airway obstruction before placing a tracheostomy tube.
In this recent success story, our patient suffered from vocal cord paralysis. Amazingly, her mother had the same issue–a rare presentation of hereditary vocal cord paralysis.
Initial research led them to a potentially unnecessary tracheostomy.
Enter our pediatrics specialist, Anthony Sheyn M.D.!
Emma Byrd’s Treatment: Cricoid Split
At the beginning of the pandemic, Emma Byrd had spent three months in the NICU with vocal cord paralysis–a scary and life-altering issue for anyone, much less a newborn. Desperate for answers, the Byrds initially heard about an invasive and risky tracheostomy.
Then, an alternative procedure–a cricoid split– was proposed. Though the Byrds are from Memphis, they believed they might need to travel to Cincinnati to receive this treatment.
Luckily, Dr. Anthony Sheyn encountered the Byrds at this crucial moment! They talked about Emma’s options, which included a cricoid split. What looked like a last-resort surgery in Cincinnati became an incredible success story right here in Memphis!
Just one more instance of UTHSC ENT providing world class treatment in your hometown.
Says Dr. Sheyn:
“Emma was able to be discharged a few days after her surgery after spending three months in the NICU! She has not been hospitalized at all since I saw her, and she is eating completely without any kind a tube in her stomach.”
More great news! Since Emma’s mother Aliceson has experienced the same condition, their rare hereditary presentation presented questions about having more children. Now that they know our Dream Team performs life-changing cricoid splits, they can continue to plan their family without fear!
Patient Testimonial: Aliceson Byrd, Mother
“Being told that your child needs a tracheostomy is one of the scariest moments as a parent. Not only do you fear of what could happen during surgery, but you also have to worry about the life that comes with being a ‘trach family.’
We had researched surgeries that could prevent a trach and were about to take our chances at a hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. We are so thankful that Dr. Sheyn walked in at the time that he did!
He was able to perform an Anterior Posterior Cricoid Spilt right here in Memphis, TN at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Within 15 days after surgery, we were able to go home with a healthy baby girl all thanks to Dr. Sheyn.
Emma is now at home, thriving as a trach free 11- months old! Hands-down we would recommend Dr. Sheyn to any parent with a child with vocal cord paralysis. “