Background: We evaluated the efficacy and safety of the extra-long Montgomery T tube for the management of major airway obstruction in tertiary care patients in Taiwan.
Method: Eleven patients with major airway stenosis treated with an extra-long Montgomery T tube between April 2004 and December 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. Five patients had tracheostomy stenosis, two had intubation stenosis, one had traumatic stenosis, one had corrosive stenosis, one had laser burn stenosis and one had tubercular stenosis. All patients underwent three-dimensional airway reconstruction and endoscopic evaluation of airway stenosis. After determining the severity and location of airway stenosis, rigid bronchotherapy and Montgomery T tube placement were performed by rigid bronchoscopy.
Results: The overall procedural success rate was 100 per cent. Three (27 per cent) patients were weaned from artificial ventilation, and all patients exhibited improved respiratory and functional status. No major post-operative complications or mortality were observed. At follow up (mean, 21.5 months), the decannulation rate was 27 per cent, and eight (73 per cent) patients had stable T tube ventilation. In four patients, granulation over the end of the T tube was controlled by endoscopic procedures. Three patients with stents above the vocal folds showed aspiration and required further intervention (i.e. one nasogastric feeding tube for nutrient supplement, one feeding jejunostomy and one stent shortening to decrease aspiration).
Conclusion: The extra-long Montgomery T tube is an effective and safe method for treating major airway obstruction in the supra-glottic to lower tracheal region.