Repair of long-segment tracheal stenosis in infancy.
Long-segment stenosis of the trachea in infancy is a considerable surgical challenge because the infants are generally extremely ill and the airway is small. The optimal type of repair is not clearly defined. This report summarizes our experience with rib cartilage tracheoplasty done with cardiopulmonary bypass. Six patients underwent repair of long-segment tracheal stenosis between September 1987 and September 1994. The mean age was 14 weeks (range 1 to 58 weeks). Patients had stenosis of at least 70% of the tracheal length, typically with complete cartilaginous rings. In all patients stenosis was repaired by placement of a section of rib cartilage as an augmentation patch into the anterior surface of the trachea, which had been incised through the entire length of the stenosis. To avoid distal airway intubation, we used cardiopulmonary bypass for all procedures, with a mean bypass duration of 110 minutes (range 54 to 175 minutes). Mechanical ventilation was required for a median of 11 days after the operation (range 7 to 81 days), and the median postoperative hospital stay was 17 days (range 12 to 180 days). All patients are long-term survivors. Complications included the need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation to treat ventricular dysfunction in one patient and graft dehiscence requiring revision of the distal graft in another. The latter patient has required several treatments with a bronchoscope for removal of granulation tissue. All other patients are free of symptoms and have normal growth with a mean follow-up of 4.7 years (range 5 months to 7.6 years). We conclude that rib cartilage tracheoplasty for long-segment tracheal stenosis provides excellent results in short and intermediate follow-up. In addition, the use of cardiopulmonary bypass allows an unobstructed view of the tiny infant airway and thus permits a precise repair.
Jaquiss, RD; Lusk, RP; Spray, TL; Huddleston, CB
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