Objectives: Laryngotracheal stenosis is a complex problem resulting most often from intubation, trauma,or autoimmune disease. Management options include dilation or airway reconstruction including laryngotracheoplasty (LTP), cricotracheal resection (CTR), and tracheal resection (TR). We describe our experience with management of this difficult problem.
Study design: Retrospective chart review of patients treated for laryngotracheal stenosis between January 1995 and July 2005 at an academic, tertiary referral center.
Methods: A total of 127 patients were treated during the study period. Patients were followed, and hospital records were reviewed.
Results: There were 38 male and 89 female patients with an average age of 55.5 years treated for laryngotracheal stenosis resulting from intubation (64), idiopathic (25) or autoimmune disease (18), radiation (9), trauma (5), prior surgery (4), and relapsing polychondritis (2). Thirty-three percent were treated for grade I stenosis, 44% grade II, 19% grade III, and 4% grade IV. Seventy percent of patients undergoing initial dilation required a subsequent procedure. LTP, CTR, or TR was performed in 43%, 48%, 71%, and 100% of patients with grade I through IV stenosis, respectively. Among 76 patients undergoing LTP, CTR, or TR, 24 (32%) required a subsequent intervention. Among 36 patients treated with primary LTP, CTR, or TR, only 10 (28%) required further therapy. Twenty-two of 35 (63%) tracheostomy-dependent patients were ultimately decannulated. Three patients died in the immediate postoperative period.
Conclusions: Patients undergoing dilation for laryngotracheal stenosis require multiple procedures. However, major reconstructive procedures are well tolerated and currently represent a viable primary treatment for laryngotracheal stenosis.