Laser Treatment of Airway Obstruction in Infants and Children
Y. Efrati, S.M. Sarfaty, S. Kromholz, G. Eshel, M. Weinberg, I. Vinograd
Depts. of Pediatric Surgery, Otolaryngology, Anesthesia and Pediatric Intensive Care, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, Zerifin (Affiliated with Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University)
Airway obstruction during infancy and childhood requiring surgical ablation is rare, and surgical intervention poses a significant challenge. During recent decades, appropriate endoscopic instrumentation, together with advanced laser beam technology have provided new operative modalities for such patients.
From 1993 to 1995 we treated 40 infants and children, 26 males and 14 females, 13 days to 11 years old (mean 3.3 years) with Nd-YAG or CO² laser. Obstructing lesions included granulation tissue or polyps (16 cases), septa or webs (27), or benign tumors (4). 7 had more than a single lesion.
All were treated endoscopically under general anesthesia without any operative or postoperative deaths. Surgical intervention removed the obstruction and related symptoms in 34. In 6, laser treatment failed, necessitating additional surgical procedures. 3 had circumferential subglottic web. Operative complications included bleeding during removal of a hemangioma in 1 and recrudescence in another. Postoperative complications were transient respiratory failure and pneumonia in 6, all of which resolved with appropriate treatment.
This series proves that laser technology is feasible in the treatment of airway obstruction during infancy and childhood, and is safe and effective.