Endoscopic Management of Pediatric Posterior Glottic Stenosis

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Abstract

Open laryngofissure with posterior cartilage grafting is advocated by some as the main treatment for posterior glottic stenosis in children. Endoscopic arytenoidectomy has been tried and recommended for bilateral vocal cord paralysis in children, but little published experience exists in its use for the treatment of pediatric posterior glottic stenosis. We describe our experience with this technique in 11 children ages 2 to 12 years, 6 of whom were under the age of 5 years. Nine of 11 patients at the initial surgery were tracheotomy-dependent; 2 others had previous laryngofissure with cartilage grafting, but continued to suffer from severe airway limitations. Modified carbon dioxide laser arytenoidectomies resulted in decannulation in 5 of 9 children and marked improvements in the 2 children without tracheotomies, as documented by flow volume loops and symptoms. Endoscopic arytenoidectomy, in our experience, is not as successful as open techniques described in previously published series of children, and requires multiple procedures due to the regrowth of granulation tissue. However, endoscopic repair is a viable option for low-grade stenosis and does not preclude an open repair in the future. It is also useful as an adjunctive procedure to augment the repair from an open approach.

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