Friday, January 21, 2011

Tracheal Stenosis

Narrowing of the trachea (windpipe) with scar tissue is referred to as tracheal stenosis.  Tracheal stenosis can occur due to prolonged intubation, tracheotomy, trauma, or due to caustic injury or burn.  The length and site of tracheal stenosis can vary depending on the cause and on the individual case.  Some times it extends proximally to involve the larynx, and is referred to as laryngotracheal stenosis.  Treatment of tracheal stenosis depends on the length of narrowing, the degree of narrowing, and on the involvement of the larynx.  For isolated narrowing of the trachea, treatment options include dilatation with cold instruments, laser, or balloon, and tracheal resection with anastamosis.  Dilatation is generally useful as a temporizing measure or for treatment of short segments of stenosis, while resection is more effective for definitive treatment of stenosis.  Other options such as tracheal stents also exist.

Here is an example of an acquired tracheal stenosis after tracheotomy

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