Don't know if it will help but this was on a vet site I refer to a lot. (I've been dealing with Tracheitis in my 10 yr old chi)
"Most dogs suffering with the collapsed trachea syndrome live normal - but restricted - lives. Activity is generally limited because the ability to breathe deeply when exercising is hindered. Left untreated, the restricted air flow can put undue stress on the heart and lungs as they try to compensate for the inability to breathe properly. Obese dogs are at greater risk than others.
What is the management?
Examination with the fingers and radiographs (x-rays) will generally confirm the diagnosis. Depending upon the severity of the condition, medications will help. Veterinarians usually prescribe drugs to help dilate the airways. The coughing is controlled by cough suppressants such as Torbutrol. If the pet is obese, we suggest a stricter diet. Finally, activity should be restricted and not encouraged. Dogs with collapsing tracheas should wear harnesses instead of collars in order to take any pressure off of the trachea. With the help of medication and modification of lifestyle, the collapsing trachea can be controlled but seldom cured. In severe cases, surgery to help open the airways may be beneficial, but most cases are managed medically not surgically.
*I have to say that from a few sites I read surgery seems like the least likely or suggested option due to the risks involved.
I would seek a 2nd opinion and perhaps try to control the situation with med management. Also if you aren't already get a puppia or harness and keep a close eye on his weight.
Good Luck and keep us updated.