Subglottic tracheal resection and synchronous laryngeal reconstruction

M. A. Maddaus, J. L.R. Toth, P. J. Gullane, F. G. Pearson

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70 Scopus citations


Postintubation injury of the upper airway commonly results in stenotic lesions of the larynx, subglottis, and adjacent trachea. The traditional approach to surgical correction is laryngofissure for the laryngeal component and staged plastic reconstruction of the subglottic stenosis. Reported results are variable and unpredictable, and permanent extubation is impossible in a significant number of patients. We report experience with 15 patients with combined laryngeal, subglottic, and tracheal stenosis who were managed by a one-stage operation: circumferential resection of the subglottis and trachea with primary thyrotracheal anastomosis, combined with laryngofissure and laryngeal reconstruction. These procedures required the collaboration of the Departments of Otolaryngology and Thoracic Surgery of the Toronto General Hospital. Between 1972 and 1991, our thoracic surgical division did 53 circumferential subglottic tracheal resections with primary thyrotracheal anastomosis for benign disease. There were no operative deaths and 51 of 53 patients were successfully extubated. In 15 of these patients, a concomitant laryngofissure for laryngeal reconstruction was required. Laryngeal repair included excision or incision of interarytenoid scar (n = 13), interarytenoid mucosal graft (n = 6), or mobilization of cricoarytenoid joint (n = 3). A temporary laryngotracheal stent (usually a Montgomery T tube) was maintained after the operation in all cases (duration 3 to 42 months). Thirteen of these 15 patients are now permanently extubated and none has functionally significant restenosis. Vocal function is satisfactory to good in these patients. The approach described for these combined laryngotracheal lesions provides better results than those reported with traditional staged and plastic techniques of reconstruction. The collaboration of the departments of otolaryngology and thoracic surgery was essential to achieve these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1443-1450
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992


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