Background: Surgery for paediatric airway stenosis is constantly evolving. Surgery is the primary treatment modality via either an open or endoscopic approach. The objective of this study was to review the results of laryngotracheal reconstruction (LTR) and cricotracheal resection (CTR) procedures performed at Great Ormond Street Hospital over the past 10 years.
Methods: All patients who underwent open airway reconstruction surgery from January 2000 to December 2010 were included in this study. Patients treated entirely endoscopically were excluded. The data was collected using the electronic operating theatre database and the discharge summary database.
Results: Complete data was available for 199 patients who underwent open airway reconstruction from January 2000 to December 2010. The procedures included single stage LTR (57, 28.6%), two stage LTR (115, 57.7%), single-stage stomal reconstruction (14), single-stage CTR (8) and two-stage CTR (5). The diagnoses at the initial airway endoscopy were laryngeal web (22), subglottic stenosis (151), posterior glottic stenosis (9), suprastomal collapse (15), supraglottic stenosis (1) and tracheal stenosis (1). For those with subglottic stenosis, the stenosis was grade 1 in 1 patient, grade 2 in 26 patients, grade 3 in 117 patients and grade 4 in 6 patients. At the completion of intervention 175/199 (87.9%) patients reported improvement in their symptoms. Amongst the subglottic stenosis group, post LTR success was achieved in 100% with grade 1 stenosis, 92.3% with grade 2 stenosis, 88.1% in grade 3 stenosis and 83.3% in grade 4 stenosis. Of the two-stage LTR procedures, 100/115 (86.9%) had their tracheostomy removed and 15/115 (13.1%) have failed decannulation. Of the single-stage LTR group, 50/57 (87.7%) patients were better both on airway examination and symptomatically postoperatively. Of the single-stage stomal reconstruction group, 13/14 (92.8%) were better symptomatically and on airway examination. Patients who underwent single-stage CTR had a better airway on examination and were symptomatically improved in all cases (8/8). For the patients who underwent two stage CTR, the tracheostomy was removed in 3/5 (60%) and retained in 2/5 (40%). For the whole group, 15/199 (7.5%) patients underwent a revision LTR. On further analysis, revision LTR was required in 4/57 (7.1%) single-stage LTR, 9/115 (7.8%) two-stage LTR, 1/5 (20%) two-stage CTR and 1/8 (12.5%) single-stage CTR. In this study complications occurred in 13/199 (6.5%).
Conclusions: Subglottic stenosis in children needs to be approached on the basis of the nature and severity of stenosis and the individual patient's general health. Good outcomes are achieved with both LTR and CTR. Good results are obtained both with single-stage and two-stage LTR, but restenosis remains a problem. An individual approach is required for treatment of paediatric airway stenosis to achieve good final outcomes. The overall success rate has increased only marginally in our institution over the last 20 years.
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