Subglottic haemangioma is a potentially life-threatening condition for which various treatment modalities are available. The objective of this study was to evaluate our results for open excision of subglottic haemangioma. The study assessed 18 patients who had been treated at a paediatric tertiary referral centre. Most of these patients (83.3 per cent) had undergone open surgical excision without post-operative tracheostomy and had been intubated for several days post-operatively (single-stage procedure). In most of these patients (66.7 per cent), an anterior cartilage graft had been used for reconstruction. The average follow up in this study was 25 months. All the patients in this series had achieved an adequate airway after the procedure. One patient had developed a recurrence of haemangioma in the trachea at a later date. The results of open surgical excision in this study were very encouraging. Seventeen out of 18 (94.4 per cent) patients had avoided tracheostomy or had been decannulated as a direct result of surgery. One of these 18 patients (5.6 per cent) had required a temporary post-operative tracheostomy for 13 months as the subglottis cleared; this was classed as a partial success. Our experience is that open excision is a highly successful ‘one stop’ treatment for subglottic haemangioma, which avoids prolonged use of steroids and multiple endoscopic procedures. No patient in this series developed subglottic stenosis, which can be a significant complication of laser application.
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