To determine the results of posterior cricoidotomy lumen augmentation in the treatment of moderate and severe subglottic stenosis in children, and to assess the effect of this surgery on the growth of the larynx in young children.
A 17-year retrospective study.
Patients and Methods
Thirteen children with moderate and severe subglottic stenosis who underwent posterior cricoidotomy lumen augmentation from 1980 to 1996. Eight children (62%) were male and 5 (38%) were female. The average age was 4.7 years (age range, 8 months to 15 years). Six (46%) of the 13 children were younger than 3 years. Nine children (69%) had acquired subglottic stenosis, 3 of whom had a combined subglottic–posterior glottic stenosis, and 4 (31%) had congenital subglottic stenosis. All the children already had a tracheotomy tube placed and had undergone treatment at our clinic or at other institutions. The surgical procedure we used included a cricoid lamina split with grafting (2 children with costal cartilage graft and 11 with buccal mucosal graft) and stenting.
Twelve (92%) of the 13 children underwent decannulation, and 1 (8%) is still undergoing treatment: decannulation is expected to be carried out in the near future. Of the 12 children who underwent decannulation, 9 demonstrated good postoperative voice quality and 3, who had combined subglottic–posterior glottic stenosis, developed impaired voice function. Following stent removal, all children experienced some degree of difficulty in swallowing saliva and liquids, which was soon overcome. No evidence of surgery-induced laryngeal growth impairment in younger children was observed.
The posterior cricoidotomy lumen augmentation is a safe and effective technique for the treatment of moderate and severe subglottic stenosis in children of any age. This study lends further support to the assertion that external surgery does not affect the growth of the larynx in younger children.