Airway problems are the most important cause of labored breathing in children and occur on a daily basis.  The Aerodigestive Program treats children with a variety of airway, breathing and swallowing disorders using state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment techniques. The program is dedicated to the coordinated medical and surgical care of children with individual aerodigestive needs.

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Medical Director

The Arkansas Children’s Aerodigestive Program constructed a multidisciplinary program that specializes in the diagnosis and surgical management of pediatric upper aerodigestive problems.

Possible Conditions

  • Airway Obstruction (stenosis): Supraglottic, Glottic, Subglottic, Tracheal
  • Voice Disorders: Vocal Fold Nodules, Vocal Fold Paralysis, Papillomatosis, Laryngeal Web/Glottic Stenosis, Laryngeal Atresia
  • Apnea (central and obstructive): Refractory after Tonsillectomy
  • Severe Malacia (floppy airway): Laryngomalacia, Tracheomalacia, Bronchomalacia
  • Feeding Difficulties: Dysphagia/Aspiration, Laryngeal Cleft, Tracheoesophageal Fistula, Severe Reflux


During your child’s initial visit, each specialist will meet with you and your child to discuss your concerns and evaluate your child. The program visit may include diagnostic tests and procedures such as X-rays, blood, sweat testing and an awake flexible airway scope. Your child may be seen for a one-time consultation or may continue to be followed on a regular basis depending on his or her healthcare needs.  The Aerodigestive Program is unique in that it allows your child to see multiple specialists at the same visit.

Meet the Team


After your child’s visit, the Aerodigestive team will sit down together to discuss their individualized findings and work as a team to develop a treatment plan that is the most efficient way to treat your child. This may include coordination of surgical and diagnostic procedures, a sleep study, ongoing therapy, referrals to additional specialists, medications and nutritional adjustments. One of the program nurses and /or doctors will contact you with an individualized treatment plan for your child and to coordinate any additional needs.

The Arkansas Children’s Hospital Aerodigestive Clinic helps kids with respiratory and related GI problems. Watch this video to see the clinic's Medical Director, Gresham T. Richter, M.D., FACS, explain the service.

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