The trachea (windpipe) is part of the airway system, carrying oxygen-rich air in and carbon dioxide out of the lungs. When you inhale, air moves from the nose, through the larynx and into the trachea. The trachea divides into two smaller tubes (bronchi) which lead to the lungs. During breathing, a normal trachea widens and lengthens with each breath. Problems with the trachea and bronchi can severely affect normal breathing.
Conditions of the trachea and bronchi include:
Airway obstruction due to disease, condition or infection
Aspiration of foreign body
Complications of tracheostomy
Hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
Tracheal and bronchial tumors, benign and cancerous
Tracheal stenosis, narrowing of the trachea caused by inflammation and scarring
Tracheobronchomalacia, when the airway walls are soft and collapse during coughing or breathing
Board certified thoracic surgeons and pulmonologists at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Lung Center provide comprehensive diagnostic services and treatment, including the latest interventional pulmonology approaches and thoracic surgery techniques—for a wide spectrum of conditions that affect the entire airway, from pharynx to bronchus. They collaborate with other BWH tracheobronchial specialists from otolaryngology, radiology and respiratory and speech therapy to provide nuanced care that is tailored to the needs of each patient. Our decades of experience have evolved into a coordinated system of care that is patient-inspired, patient-centered and committed to excellence.
As the thoracic surgical and pulmonary medicine specialists for Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, our physicians develop cohesive treatment plans in partnership with cancer specialists for patients with malignant tracheobronchial tumors.
The Lung Center is located at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) at the 15 Francis Street entrance. Thoracic surgery, pulmonary and critical care medicine and thoracic imaging are adjacent to one another, making accessibility and appointment scheduling seamless.