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J Pediatr Surg. 2003 Jun;38(6):928-34.

Slide tracheoplasty for the management of complete tracheal rings.

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Departments of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.



Although rare, complete tracheal rings are the most common cause of congenital tracheal stenosis. The last 2 decades have seen an evolution in management, with increasing awareness of the potential advantages of slide tracheoplasty.


Between March 2001 and August 2002, 11 children had complete tracheal rings corrected by slide tracheoplasty. Ages ranged from newborn to 15 years, and weight ranged from 1.8 to 57 kg. Length of stenosis ranged from 3 rings to virtually the whole length of the trachea. The most narrow point in the airway varied from less than 1.9 mm to 4.8 mm. Eight children had other congenital anomalies, severe in one child. Most children underwent repair on cardiopulmonary bypass.


Nine children are asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic, although 2 have endoscopic evidence of mild residual tracheal stenosis. One child, who had been unstable pre-operatively, died of multiple organ failure 7 weeks postoperatively. A second child required a tracheotomy for bronchomalacia at 6 months and died at 9 months with tracheotomy tube occlusion. Both children had adequate tracheal repairs. Complications have included lateral tracheal stenosis (the "Figure 8" trachea) and recurrent laryngeal nerve damage.


Our management of complete tracheal rings has evolved over the last decade, and slide tracheoplasty currently is our preferred surgical approach for tracheal stenosis regardless of the length of narrowing.

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