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Repair of congenital tracheal stenosis.

We have used six different techniques in 61 operations performed at Children's Memorial Hospital (Chicago, IL) between 1982 and 2001 on 54 infants with complete tracheal rings and primary or recurrent tracheal stenosis. Short-term and long-term outcomes are reviewed for all techniques including pericardial tracheoplasty, tracheal autograft, tracheal resection, cartilage tracheoplasty, slide tracheoplasty, and aortic homograft patch tracheoplasty. Patients' ages ranged from 7 days to 72 months; mean age at operation was 6 months. There were 33 boys and 21 girls. Associated pulmonary artery sling was present in 19 of 54 patients (35%). Significant associated intracardiac anomaly was present in 13 of 54 patients (24%). The number of complete tracheal rings involved ranged from two to 18 rings (mean, 14+/-5). All procedures were performed with the use of cardiopulmonary bypass. Simultaneous repair of pulmonary artery sling and cardiac abnormalities was undertaken. There were three early deaths, two after pericardial tracheoplasty and one after tracheal autograft. There were eight late deaths, five after pericardial tracheoplasty, one after tracheal autograft, one after slide tracheoplasty, and one after tracheal resection. Median length of hospital stay was 60 days for pericardial tracheoplasty, 28 days for tracheal autograft, 14 days for tracheal resection, and 18 days for the slide tracheoplasty. Follow-up is complete in all patients. Tracheal autograft is currently our procedure of choice for patients with long-segment tracheal stenosis because of its use of all-autologous material, technical ease of performance, already-present epithelial lining of the autograft, intrinsic maintenance of the cartilage contour, potential for growth, and ready availability. We limit the use of tracheal resections to patients with eight or less rings of tracheal stenosis.

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