Post-intubation tracheal stenosis may indicate a need for airway or tracheal surgery.
Patients can develop a narrowing of the trachea (tracheal stenosis) following either prolonged oral intubation or tracheostomy (a temporary or permanent surgical opening in the trachea).
The figure represents two scenarios where patients can develop post-intubation stenosis. Both are derived from prolonged use of breathing tubes (an endotracheal tube or tracheostomy) that create inflammation and scar where a balloon is inflated in the airway.
Resections and reconstructions for post-intubation tracheal stenosis allow patients to maintain their own airway and voice without the need for an airway appliance, such as a tracheostomy. Typical hospital stay is roughly seven days. Patients can return home within a day or two of discharge from the hospital.