Laser treatment of airway obstruction in infants and children

Y. Efrati*, S. M. Sarfaty, S. Kromholz, G. Eshel, M. Weinberg, I. Vinograd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Airway obstruction during infancy and childhood requiring surgical ablation is rare, and surgical intervention poses a significant challenge. During recent decades, appropriate endoscopic instrumentation, together with advanced laser beam technology have provided new operative modalities for such patients. From 1993 to 1995 we treated 40 infants and children, 26 males and 14 females, 13 days to 11 years old (mean 3.3 years) with Nd-YAG or CO2 laser. Obstructing lesions included granulation tissue or polyps (16 cases), septa or webs (27), or benign tumors (4). 7 had more than a single lesion. All were treated endoscopically under general anesthesia without any operative or postoperative deaths. Surgical intervention removed the obstruction and related symptoms in 34. In 6, laser treatment failed, necessitating additional surgical procedures. 3 had circumferential subglottic web. Operative complications included bleeding during removal of a hemangioma in 1 and recrudescence in another. Postoperative complications were transient respiratory failure and pneumonia in 6, all of which resolved with appropriate treatment. This series proves that laser technology is feasible in the treatment of airway obstruction during infancy and childhood, and is safe and effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-529, 592, 591
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes


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