Partial cricotracheal resection in children: potential pitfalls and avoidance of complications

Mercy George, Christos Ikonomidis, Yves Jaquet, Philippe Monnier
Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery 2009, 141 (2): 225-31

OBJECTIVES: To delineate the various factors contributing to failure or delay in decannulation after partial cricotracheal resection (PCTR) in children.

STUDY DESIGN: Case series.

SETTING: Academic tertiary medical center.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A retrospective case review of 100 children who underwent PCTR between 1978 and 2008 for severe subglottic stenosis using an ongoing database.

RESULTS: Ninety of 100 (90%) patients were decannulated. Six patients needed secondary tracheostomy. The results of the preoperative evaluation showed grade II stenosis in four patients, grade III in 64 patients, and grade IV in 32 patients. The overall decannulation rate was 100 percent in grade II, 95 percent in grade III, and 78 percent in grade IV stenosis. Fourteen (14%) patients required revision open surgery. The most common cause of revision surgery was posterior glottic stenosis. Partial anastomotic dehiscence was seen in four patients. Delayed decannulation (>1 year) occurred in nine patients. Overall mortality rate in the whole series was 6 percent. No deaths were directly related to the surgery. No iatrogenic recurrent laryngeal nerve injury was present in the entire series.

CONCLUSION: Comorbidities and associated syndromes should be addressed before PCTR is planned to improve the final postoperative outcome in terms of decannulation. Perioperative morbidity due to anastomotic dehiscence, to a certain extent, can be avoided by intraoperative judgment in the selection of double-stage surgery when more than five tracheal rings need to be resected. Subglottic stenosis with glottic involvement continues to pose a difficult challenge to pediatric otolaryngologists, often necessitating revision procedures.

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