[Surgery of acquired laryngotracheal stenoses in childhood. Experiences and results from 1988-1998. II: The cricotracheal resection]

M Vollrath, J Freihorst, H von der Hardt
HNO 1999, 47 (7): 611-22
Approximately 90% of infants and children with severe acquired laryngotracheal stenoses are tracheotomy dependent and therefore impaired in their physical and speech developments. In addition, tracheotomized infants can be endangered by the cannula due to the possible crusting of secretions or its dislocation. Thus, early repair of a stenosis is mandatory. Within the last 10 years, we successfully operated on 18 children with severe laryngotracheal stenoses. Ten children were treated with a modified Cotton technique. This paper reports our results of cricotracheal resection performed in 8 children since 1994 (age distribution: 7 months through age 15 years). Four children had Cotton grade II stenoses, three had grade III stenoses and one grade IV stenoses. In 3 patients a tracheotomy had been performed at another institution. Since their tracheostomas were too far caudal, they could not be included in the primary resection. All 8 children have been successfully decannulated. Five children without tracheotomies could be extubated uneventfully on the 5th postoperative day. All three primarily tracheotomized children needed further endotracheal stenting with T-tubes because of stomal and suprastomal collapse. Two of these latter children additionally required a tracheoplasty with rib cartilage grafts in order to stabilize the suprastomal trachea prior to decannulation. No patient experienced injuries to the recurrent laryngeal nerves or insufficiencies of the anastomosis. All children's voices were not impaired. This is the third report in literature of cricotracheal resections in infants and children, indicating that this effective, one-stage procedure is superior to laryngotracheal reconstruction with rib cartilage.

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