Subglottic Stenosis

What is it?
As mentioned above, stenosis is a term that describes the narrowing of a tubular structure.  Subglottic or tracheal stenosis implies a narrowing of the trachea, which may lead to obstructed breathing and dyspnea.  Airway stenosis can be caused by external or internal trauma, previous surgeries, prolonged intubation, radiation/chemoradiation, reflux to the throat or from unknown causes.  In young children, the stenosis can be congenital.

How is it treated?
Subglottic or tracheal stenosis treatment is dependent on the site and severity of stenosis.  Some patient may require a tracheostomy tube.  Patients may be candidates for a variety of endoscopic, minimally-invasive procedures to open the airway and improve breathing, which may include the use of special adjunct medications to optimize wound healing.  Others may require open surgery for airway reconstruction using special techniques to augment airway caliber.