Abstract Aim: In the last twenty years, the statement of the CO2 laser in laryngeal microsurgery has proved particularly useful in the surgical treatment of laryngotracheal stenosis. The Authors report their surgical experiences and discuss them considering the location, size and pathologic features of the disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the results that may be obtained in the treatment of laryngotracheal stenosis by endoscopy using the CO2 laser, and analyze the advantages and limitations of surgical methods implemented. Material of study: It includes 128 patients treated from 1981 to 2016 by endoscopy using the CO2 laser. Results: The healing occurred in 121 of the 128 patients (94.5%); in the remaining 7 cases (5.5%) - 4 subjects (3.1%) with supraglottic cicatricial stenosis and 3 patients (2.3%) with widespread laryngotracheal stenosis - it had to integrate the technique of endoscopic surgery with a traditional surgery of recovery. In particular, it has observed as follows: In supraglottic stenosis: - oedematous forms healed without difficulty, a limited number of controls (1-2) was necessary to practice and any type of stent has not been used; - cicatricial forms required a greater number of controls (3-6) and the execution in 2 cases (1.6%) of an arytenoidectomy, we had 4 failures (3.1%) for which it had to implement a recovery surgery of traditional type; In glottic/ipoglottic stenosis: - all oedematous forms healed with a number of checks less than 3, without use of stents; - scarring forms resolved after a higher number of controls (3-6), in 4 of them (3.1%) it was necessary to practice an arytenoidectomy (associated to exeresis of 1/3 posterior ipsilateral true vocal cord) and in 4 (3.1%) had to applied an endolaryngeal guardian (in one case a Traissac stent and in 3 ones a Montgomery T-tube); In tracheal stenosis has occurred healing in all cases, more specifically: - in limited forms to the third anterior of the trachea were enough 1-2 checks and it was not necessary using stent; - in extended forms (involvement of the 2/3 anterior and/or of the whole tracheal circumference) a higher number of controls (3-6) was necessary; - in concentric forms, with total obstruction of the lumen, the application of endoluminal stent (3 Montgomery T-tubes and 2 tracheal cannulas of Silastic) was always necessary in addition to a number of controls superior to 7. - In laryngotracheal spread forms, 3 failures (2.3%) recorded, in all cases, however, many controls (greater than 7) was necessary and a Montgomery T-tube was placed. Conclusions: The introduction of the CO2 laser in the surgical treatment of laryngotracheal stenosis has undoubtedly improved the chances of endoscopic surgery; it is currently able to offer significant advantages compared to traditional techniques (cures faster, less traumatic interventions, post-operative elapsed better tolerated by patients, etc.) but it is also indisputable that to ensure the success of these operations is essential a correct understanding of the size and pathologic features of the same stenosis: the data, in fact, affect the choice of surgical addresses to adopt in individual cases and the prognostic judgment.
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