To assess the efficacy of open excision as an alternative to tracheostomy in the management of subglottic hemangioma.
A retrospective review of patients undergoing open surgical excision of subglottic hemangiomas over a 10-year period.
A tertiary pediatric center.
The study included 22 children ranging in age from 2 to 42 months (median age, 5 months) who underwent open excision of subglottic hemangioma over a 10-year period.
Twenty-one patients were treated with single-stage procedures, with postoperative endotracheal intubation for an average of 5 days. One patient who had a preexisting tracheostomy was treated with a 2-stage procedure and underwent decannulation 2 months after excision. Seven other patients were tracheostomy dependent at the time of excision and underwent decannulation at the time of the procedure. Cartilage grafts were inserted in 10 patients. There were no problems with subglottic stenosis. Twenty-one patients reported good voice and no airway symptoms after a mean follow-up period of 42 months. Five patients had significant postoperative problems. Three patients required further endoscopic procedures for removal of granulation tissue, and 1 patient, who remains minimally symptomatic, developed an anterior glottic web. One patient required a 6-month course of steroids after surgery to treat residual glottic hemangioma.
Open surgical excision of subglottic hemangiomas can be performed as a single procedure, avoiding a tracheostomy, when modern surgical techniques developed for laryngotracheal reconstruction are incorporated. This approach can avoid repeated endoscopic procedures, prolonged treatment with corticosteroids, and years spent with a tracheostomy waiting for spontaneous involution of the hemangioma.