Endobronchial removal of uncovered stent using argon plasma coagulation via fibreoptic bronchoscopy

Massa Zantah, Matthew Basile, Megan Burtulato, Gerard J Criner
Respirology Case Reports 2019, 7 (9): e00496
Bronchial stenosis is a complication of lung transplantation that often requires repeated balloon dilation, endobronchial treatments, and possibly stent placement. Endobronchial stents, particularly uncovered ones, may have several complications including excessive granulation tissue that cause airways obstruction and impaired mucociliary clearance, which may lead to inflammation and infections. Removal of epithelized endobronchial stents is usually done in the operating room using rigid bronchoscopy. Argon plasma coagulation (APC) has been used for removal of biliary stents. One case report described an endotracheal uncovered stent removal using this technique. APC can be used via flexible bronchoscopy, which may carry less risk of complications and can be done in an outpatient setting. In this case, we report using APC, at a low energy level, for complete removal of a totally epithelialized endobronchial uncovered stent in a patient experiencing stent-related complications.

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