Changes in Tracheostomy- and Intubation-Related Tracheal Stenosis: Implications for Surgery

Samuel S. Kim, Zain Khalpey, Charles Hsu, Alex G. Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background This study sought to identify the changing characteristic patterns and locations of stenosis after tracheostomy or intubation and to assess the risk factors associated with perioperative complication and restenosis after primary resection and reconstruction. Methods A retrospective review was performed (January /2012 to March 2015) on patients treated at the University of Arizona Medical Center (Tucson, Arizona) who had symptomatic tracheal stenosis secondary to prolonged intubation or tracheostomy. Data on demographics, surgical approach, and outcome were obtained. Analysis was performed using the χ2 test, Kaplan-Meier estimate of survival, Cox proportional hazards survival analysis, and univariate and multivariate logistic regression. Results Forty-eight patients were referred for surgical resection, and 36 patients underwent primary resection and reconstruction; 72% of patients had previous endobronchial treatments for stenosis. Fourteen patients had postintubation tracheal stenosis, and 22 had tracheostomy-related stenosis (16 percutaneous, 6 open tracheostomy). Among all patients, 52.8% had stenosis proximal to or involving the cricoid; 72.7% of patients with tracheostomy-related stenosis had stenosis at or proximal to the cricoid, whereas only 21.4% of the patients with intubation-related stenosis had a similar location. Nineteen patients underwent laryngotracheal resection, and 17 patients had tracheal resection. The mean length of resection was 3.6 cm. A body mass index greater than 35 was associated with increased perioperative complications (p = 0.012). In multivariate analysis, patients younger than 30 years of age at operation had an increased relative risk of recurrence. Conclusions Recent advances in percutaneous tracheostomy have increased the numbers of patients presenting with proximal tracheal stenosis, thus necessitating more complex subglottic resection and reconstruction. The anastomotic and overall complication rate remains low despite these more complex operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)964-970
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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