Laryngeal/Posterior Glottic Stenosis (Scarring Between the Vocal Folds)

What is it?
Stenosis is a term that describes the narrowing of a tubular structure.  Laryngeal stenosis implies a narrowing of thelarynx, whether at the supraglottic, glottic, or subglottic level, which may lead to obstructed breathing, dyspnea, and hoarseness.  Laryngeal stenosis can be caused by external or internal trauma, previous surgeries, prolonged intubation, radiation/chemoradiation, or other causes.  In young children, the stenosis can be congenital.

 

How is it treated?
Laryngeal stenosis treatment is dependent on the site and severity of stenosis.  Some patients 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.