First-line tracheal resection and primary anastomosis for postintubation tracheal stenosis

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Tracheal stenosis following intubation is the most common indication for tracheal resection and reconstruction. Endoscopic dilation is almost always associated with recurrence. This study investigated first-line surgical resection and anastomosis performed in fit patients presenting with postintubation tracheal stenosis.

METHODS

Between February 2011 and November 2014, a prospective study was performed involving patients who underwent first-line tracheal resection and primary anastomosis after presenting with postintubation tracheal stenosis.

RESULTS

A total of 30 patients (20 male) were operated on. The median age was 23.5 years (range: 13-77 years). Seventeen patients (56.7%) had had previous endoscopic tracheal dilation, four (13.3%) had had tracheal stents inserted prior to surgery and one (3.3%) had undergone previous tracheal resection. Nineteen patients (63.3%) had had a tracheostomy. Eight patients (26.7%) had had no previous tracheal interventions. The median time of intubation in those developing tracheal stenosis was 20.5 days (range: 0-45 days). The median length of hospital stay was 10.5 days (range: 7-21 days). The success rate for anastomoses was 96.7% (29/30). One patient needed a permanent tracheostomy. The in-hospital mortality rate was 3.3%: 1 patient died from a chest infection 21 days after surgery. There was no mortality or morbidity in the group undergoing first-line surgery for de novo tracheal lesions.

CONCLUSIONS

First-line tracheal resection with primary anastomosis is a safe option for the treatment of tracheal stenosis following intubation and obviates the need for repeated dilations. Endoscopic dilation should be reserved for those patients with significant co-morbidities or as a temporary measure in non-equipped centres.

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