Trachea Tumors and Advanced Airway Disease

Get back to a healthy life you can enjoy.

Find a Thoracic Surgeon

When trachea tumors and advanced airway disease make breathing difficult, it can feel like your life is on hold. You might not feel like yourself or fully participate in favorite pastimes. Doctors at Nuvance Health™ Cancer Institute put you back in control.


We are among the few programs in New York’s Hudson Valley and Western Connecticut specializing in these complex issues. Eligible patients have access to sophisticated tests and therapies that enable many people to breathe easy again.

What is advanced airway disease?

Advanced airway disease occurs when illness or injury prevents your airway from doing its job. This complex network of tubes moves air in and out of your lungs in two ways:

  • When you breathe in, your windpipe (trachea) delivers oxygen to the bronchi, deep within your lungs.
  • When you exhale: The reverse happens. Air (carbon dioxide) travels from the bronchi, to the trachea and out your nose or mouth.

Causes of advanced airway disease include:

  • Abnormal growths, including trachea tumors that may or may not be cancerous
  • Autoimmune disorders, which are conditions that cause the immune system to attack airway tissue
  • Infections, such as tuberculosis
  • Intubation or tracheostomy, which involves placing a temporary tube down your throat to help you breathe
  • Medical treatments, including surgery or radiation therapy in or near the airway

Trachea tumor and advanced airway disease care at Nuvance Health: Why choose us?

You benefit from the combined experience of thoracic and head and neck surgeons, some of whom are national leaders in advanced airway disease. Highlights of our program include:

  • Leading care:
    The team includes fellowship-trained surgeons with decades of experience. We also further advanced airway disease care through research and clinical trials. Our efforts help patients all over the country receive safe, appropriate therapies. Find out more about cancer clinical trials and research.
  • Minimally invasive treatments:
    The specialists use long tubes (endoscopes) with a camera and instruments at the tip to evaluate and treat airway problems. Instead of an incision in your neck, we slide the endoscope down your throat to reach problem areas. This approach for eligible patients protects more healthy tissue.
  • Careful diagnosis:
    Specialists use advanced imaging techniques in eligible patients to pinpoint the source of the problem and plan treatments. Your care includes imaging scans and endoscopy using modern equipment. You receive tests as quickly as possible so you can start healing.
  • Trachea tumor care:
    Our services help you avoid complications such as a collapsed lung. Procedures may also help you feel well enough to receive additional treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Minimally invasive airway disease treatments

Treatments typically include procedures to loosen stiff airways and help them stay open.

Your care may include:

  • Cryotherapy: This treatment creates focused areas of scar tissue to open airways that have narrowed due to cancer and noncancerous conditions. We offer a level of care that’s not widely available.
  • Dilation and stenting: A balloon-like device attached to the tip of an endoscope pushes extra tissue out of the way. A mesh device (stent) supports airway walls, making it easier for air to flow in and out.
  • Endobronchial tumor debulking: If you have a trachea tumor, this procedure removes as much of it as possible. Additional treatments, including radiation therapy, lower the risk of the tumor coming back.
  • Laser airway surgery: This option uses a laser instead of incisions to remove the tissue causing airway narrowing. Laser surgery enables a higher degree of precision than traditional surgical techniques.