Airway reconstruction is a surgical treatment for laryngeal or tracheal stenosis, which refers to a narrowing of the voice box or windpipe. The goal of airway reconstruction is to open the airway and re-establish a normal channel for the patient to breathe. Airway reconstruction may address airway narrowing in many ways, from removing damaged tissue to expanding the airway with a balloon.
A variety of factors, from external compression to internal damage, may result in airway narrowing. Additionally, airway narrowing may occur at different levels along the breathing passages, including the voice box, below the vocal folds and in the windpipe areas. Causes include:
Medical interventions, such as surgery, radiation therapy or having a breathing tube.
Trauma or external injury
Conditions such as cancer or autoimmune disease
Idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown
Treatment of airway stenosis or collapse may involve using a laser to make cuts in the area of stenosis to restore airway flow, removing a damaged portion of the trachea then reattaching the healthy ends of the trachea together, or dilating the area with a balloon. First, the doctor will take a medical history and perform a series of tests to learn more about the patient’s condition. Evaluation may involve the use of diagnostic tools, such as laryngoscopy or bronchoscopy, long instruments that allow the doctor to examine the area. The doctor will then determine which of these is the best treatment to restore optimal breathing:
Why Temple Health for Airway Reconstruction?
The Voice, Airway & Swallowing Center at Temple Head & Neck Institute is the ideal destination for adults with airway narrowing. Physicians use advanced approaches to address laryngeal and tracheal stenosis and collapse from minimally invasive endoscopic techniques to open reconstruction.
Temple Health Voice, Airway & Swallowing is a leader in airway reconstruction surgery. Temple Health’s surgeons have many years of experience and can use multiple approaches for airway reconstruction.