Laryngeal and Tracheal Reconstruction

Also known as: airway reconstruction, laryngotracheal reconstruction, LTR.

What is laryngeal and tracheal reconstruction?

Laryngeal and tracheal reconstruction is a procedure that widens the windpipe in order to make breathing easier. It’s a common treatment for breathing difficulties related to a narrow windpipe (tracheal stenosis).

What happens during the procedure?

During laryngeal and tracheal reconstruction, small pieces of cartilage removed from the ear, thyroid or ribs are stitched into the trachea in order to widen it. Then a tracheostomy tube or stent is placed in the trachea to hold it in position while it heals. Another option is to remove a portion of the windpipe and stitch the two remaining ends together (resection).

Is any special preparation needed? 

Often a tracheostomy tube must be inserted in a separate procedure prior to the laryngeal and tracheal reconstruction. Patients must also avoid food, drink and certain medications prior to the procedure.

What are the risk factors? 

Infection, bleeding, pain, collapsed lung, voice problems and swallowing difficulties are potential risk factors of laryngeal and tracheal reconstruction.

Reviewed by: Brian Ho, MD

This page was last updated on: March 26, 2019 12:26 PM

Related Videos

Tracheostomy Site Care

This video will teach you how to properly care for a tracheostomy tube. 

Tracheostomy Suctioning

This video will teach you how to properly suction a tracheostomy tube. 

Tracheostomy Tube Change

This video will teach you how to properly change a tracheostomy tube if it becomes dislodged or if it is obstructed.