Fluoroscopic-guided balloon dilatation and stenting in tracheal stenosis with metallic self-expandable stents and long-term follow-up results

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The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and long-term efficacy of self-expandable stents in the treatment of benign tracheal stenosis. Nine patients (seven men) with tracheal stenosis (including one with fistula) of varied cause were treated by fluoroscopically guided balloon dilatation and stenting with self-expandable metallic stents. The procedure was carried out under topical spray in eight patients and under general anaesthesia in one patient. The patients were followed up for a period ranging between 13 and 60 months. In eight of the nine patients, satisfactory positioning of the stent was achieved at the first instance, with immediate relief of dyspnoea. One patient with innominate artery aneurysm died 16 days after the procedure because of renal failure. At 1 month of follow up, six out of eight (75%) of our live patients were without any respiratory embarrassment. This dyspnoea-free result reached almost 90% by the end of 1 year especially so in the fibrous strictures. Four out of the eight live patients (50%) had cough for 2 months and two (25%) had mild blood-tinged sputum treated by inhalation and mucolytic agents. Secondary intervention was required in one patient at 1 month because of recurrent symptoms. The patient with tracheo-oesophageal fistula required surgical intervention because of fracture of the stent. Fluoroscopically guided balloon dilatation and stenting of the tracheal stenosis is an effective non-surgical therapy resulting in cure of fibrous strictures and palliation in cases of malignancy.

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