Objective To compare the postoperative course, complication rate, and decannulation rate in children who underwent either sutureless or sutured posterior costal cartilage grafting during laryngotracheal reconstruction (LTR).
Design Retrospective chart review.
Setting Tertiary care children's medical center.
Patients The study included children who required posterior costal cartilage grafting when undergoing LTR for subglottic stenosis between the years of 2000 and 2009 by the senior author (J.E.M.) and who had adequate records for review.
Main Outcome Measures Postoperative complications, including the incidence of graft prolapse, restenosis or reobstruction requiring surgical intervention, and decannulation rate.
Results Forty-nine children who underwent 52 procedures met the inclusion criteria for this study. All patients had grade III acquired subglottic stenosis and underwent double-staged LTR. Twenty procedures were performed with a sutureless posterior graft, and 32 were performed with suture placement. None of the 20 procedures that were performed with a sutureless graft had prolapse of the graft into the airway compared with 2 of 32 prolapsed posterior grafts (6%) that were sutured (P = .52). Eleven of 20 children (55%) with sutureless posterior grafts compared with 24 of 32 children (75%) who underwent sutured posterior grafts required endoscopic surgical intervention for restenosis or reobstruction (P = .22). Decannulation was achieved in 19 of 20 sutureless cases (95%) and in 28 of 30 cases (93%) in which sutures were placed (P = .56) after a single LTR and necessary endoscopic interventions occurring at 6.3 months and 4.9 months, respectfully (P = .42).
Conclusion Sutureless posterior costal cartilage grafting in children with acquired grade III subglottic stenosis is an equally effective and secure technique compared with sutured posterior grafting during double-staged LTR.