Postoperative Observation of Children after Endoscopic Type 1 Posterior Laryngeal Cleft Repair

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To report the perioperative management and surgical outcomes in a large series of pediatric patients with endoscopically repaired type 1 posterior laryngeal cleft (PLC).

Study Design

Case series with chart review.


Urban, tertiary care, free-standing pediatric hospital.

Subjects and Methods

Patients who underwent endoscopic carbon dioxide laser–assisted repair of type 1 posterior laryngeal clefts between January 2006 and December 2012. Medical records were reviewed.


Fifty-four patients (34 male) underwent repair of type 1 PLC. Median age was 25.5 months (range, 2-120 months). Indications for repair included aspiration (n = 39; 72%), chronic bronchitis (n = 13; 24%), and stridor with feeds (n = 2; 4%). No children remained intubated postoperatively. Thirty-three patients (61%) stayed in overnight observation (“Obs PLC”) and 21 patients (39%) stayed in the pediatric intensive care unit (“PICU PLC”) postoperatively. Between Obs PLC and PICU PLC groups, there was no significant difference in age (mean 22 vs 30 months, respectively; P = .28). Comorbidities were similar between the groups. Symptoms improved in 41 of the 54 patients (76%). No postoperative complications were noted. Two patients required revision PLC repair. The cost of admitting a patient to a lower acuity location was estimated to be 60% less per day than cost of a PICU admission.


The endoscopic surgical repair of a type 1 PLC is successful and has a low morbidity and complication rate. Patients may be safely managed in an observation unit and without postoperative intubation. This approach achieved a marked cost reduction in postoperative care.

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