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Aerodigestive program helps children with complex disorders

Written By: Simone Sonnier, UT Physicians | Updated: September 21, 2021
children's doctor interacting with patient

Our new aerodigestive program aims to serve the needs of our pediatric patients with persistent or complex airway, gastrointestinal, or respiratory conditions.

Our new aerodigestive program aims to provide tailored care for children with complex airway, gastrointestinal tract, and respiratory disorders. Located in the UT Physicians High Risk Children’s Clinic, the program is open for patient appointments on the second Friday of every month.

The list of children who may benefit from personalized aerodigestive care is extensive. Pediatric patients include those with aspiration issues, gastroesophageal reflux, swallowing disorders, or unexplained recurrent respiratory symptoms.

Chelsea Gatcliffe, MD
Chelsea Gatcliffe, MD

“We want families to understand that if you have a concern that crosses a few specialties, this could be a good fit for your child,” said Chelsea Gatcliffe, MD, co-director of the program, pediatric pulmonologist with UT Physicians, and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “Our care can range from helping kids with a persistent cough to a child who has complex medical needs due to multiple airway and gastrointestinal surgeries.”

Children in need of consistent care often require doctors across many different specialties. These appointments become a time commitment and they typically result in loss of work for a parent or caregiver. For the convenience of patients and their caregivers, this new program brings many experts under one roof including pulmonologists; ear, nose, and throat specialists; gastroenterologists; general surgeons; speech therapists; and dietitians.

Tu T. Mai, MD
Tu T. Mai, MD

“A lot of conditions are interconnected with many specialties involved,” said Tu T. Mai, MD, co-director of the program, pediatric gastroenterologist with UT Physicians, and assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at McGovern Medical School. “This way, patients can see everyone in one day and meeting all the doctors can come up with a specialized care plan that is best for the patient.”

For more information about the aerodigestive program, call 713-486-6948. To schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric doctors, visit our Children’s Health page.

As the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, UT Physicians has locations across the Greater Houston area to serve the community. To schedule an appointment, call 888-4UT-DOCS.