Historically, tracheostomy has been used for infants with airway obstruction caused by congenital or acquired subglottic stenosis. Postoperative morbidity and mortality with this provisional operation led Cotton, in 1980, to substitute anterior cricoid split as the primary definitive procedure. Within the past three years, anterior cricoid split has been performed in 4 infants, aged 3 to 9 months, with acquired (3 patients) or congenital (1 patient) subglottic stenosis requiring ventilation through an endotracheal tube. Following cricoid split, the trachea is stented for 12 to 14 days by a nasotracheal tube, with extubation and rigid bronchoscopy in the operating room with the patient under anesthesia to confirm healing and patency. During an 18-to 24-month follow-up in these 4 patients, morbidity has been minimal, patency has persisted, and stridor has not recurred. Accordingly, a conclusive operation, cricoid split, rather than a temporizing tracheostomy may be employed for certain obstructive tracheal lesions early in life.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine