Posterior cartilage graft in single-stage laryngotracheal reconstruction

Ramzi T Younis, Rande H Lazar, Frank Astor
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 2003, 129 (3): 168-75

PURPOSE: Single-stage laryngotracheal reconstruction (LTR) has gained popularity during the past decade, but few reports discuss posterior grafting. We assessed the indications, treatment, complications, and outcomes for patients who underwent this procedure.

METHODS: We reviewed the charts of 120 pediatric patients who underwent LTR at LeBonheur Children's Medical Center or the University of Mississippi Medical Center between January 1992 and September 2000. We identified and evaluated those who had undergone single-stage anterior plus posterior cartilage rib graft reconstruction during this period.

RESULTS: Of 120 patients, 56 had anterior graft procedures, and 46 had anterior plus posterior cartilage rib graft reconstruction. The 46 patients included 26 boys and 20 girls (age range, 18 months to 9 years; follow-up periods, 3 months to 6 years). Twenty-one of 46 had circumferential grade III stenosis, 14 had grade IV stenosis, 4 had bilateral vocal cord paralysis, 4 had posterior glottic and subglottic stenosis, and 3 had laryngeal cleft. Eleven of 46 patients had previous procedures and required revision LTR. All 46 patients underwent single-stage reconstruction with temporary stenting using an endotracheal tube for 10 to 24 days; 4 failed required replacement of the tracheotomy tube, and 8 required reintubation after the first extubation. The overall decannulation success rate was 83% (38 of 46).

CONCLUSIONS: LTR is the procedure of choice for the surgical management of subglottic stenosis. Although use of a posterior rib graft is technically demanding and requires extensive experience, good results can be obtained when the guidelines are followed.

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