To present our experience with balloon laryngoplasty (BL) as a means of establishing control of the compromised airway and as a definitive alternative to open surgery in infants with acquired subglottic stenosis (SGS).
The medical charts of 10 consecutive infants diagnosed as having acquired SGS secondary to a history of intubation and treated initially with BL were reviewed.
Academic tertiary care children's hospital.
A total of 10 patients (3 girls and 7 boys), with a mean age of 4.8 months (range, 2-12 months), met the inclusion criteria for the study.
Main Outcome Measures
The medical charts were assessed for the patients’ demographics, clinical presentation, and outcomes, which were defined by postoperative symptomatology, endoscopic grading of residual SGS, complications, and the need for subsequent interventions to control SGS.
All 10 patients presented with biphasic stridor, and 8 had significant retractions noted on examination. In all patients, control of the airway was established with BL followed by intubation. Four patients were completely asymptomatic after the initial BL. An additional 3 patients had recurrent stridor during the postoperative period and required a second BL before having complete, persistent resolution of symptoms. Balloon laryngoplasty failed in 3 patients, of whom 2 went on to undergo single-staged laryngotracheal reconstruction and 1 required a tracheotomy.
Balloon laryngoplasty is a safe means of establishing the airway in infants with obstruction secondary to acquired SGS. It was an effective, stand-alone procedure for the management of SGS in 7 of our 10 patients, obviating the need for tracheotomy or cricoid split.