Anterior cricoid split is performed for grade 2 and 3 subglottic stenosis, which can be a cause of extubation failure. It can be performed endoscopically or as an open procedure. This paper describes a case series of endoscopic cricoid split procedures performed using a bespoke sickle knife.
Nine patients (six pre-term infants) underwent endoscopic cricoid split in a tertiary referral paediatric unit between August 2012 and March 2015.
Six patients (67 per cent; four pre-term and two term infants) were on oxygen pre-operatively. Mean age at operation was 30 weeks (range, 11–104 weeks). Mean number of days’ intubation was 5.6 days (range, 4–9 days). All five patients intubated pre-operatively were extubated. Seven patients required repeat dilatations. One patient required tracheostomy.
The extubation rates for endoscopic cricoid split are comparable to the open procedure. It is a safe and efficient method for managing subglottic stenosis, whether acquired or congenital. The main advantage is the shorter operative time, in addition to the avoidance of an external scar and drain.
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