Pediatric Laryngeal Webs

Pediatric Laryngeal Webs

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Summary

A laryngeal web is a fibrous layer of tissue of varying thicknesses that develops in the larynx (voice box) and can affect the voice and breathing.

Expanded Overview

A laryngeal web is generally a congenital (present at birth) abnormality. It forms when the baby is developing in the early stages in the mother’s womb and fails to disappear as the baby continues to grow. A laryngeal web stretches between the vocal cords (also called vocal folds), which are located in the larynx. It restricts the trachea (windpipe), causing breathing difficulties and respiratory distress. It can also affect your child’s voice.

Causes

In most cases, a laryngeal web is a congenital (present at birth) condition. Some children can develop one after long-term intubation, when a tube is inserted into the throat to help a baby or child breathe.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a laryngeal web include:

  • Abnormal cry (weak, soft or absent)
  • Abnormal voice (high pitched or weak)
  • Chest infections
  • Croup (barking cough)
  • Hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Respiratory distress
  • Wheezing

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