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

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Tracheal Stenosis

The trachea is another name for the windpipe that delivers air to and from the lungs. When the trachea becomes narrow and negatively impacts breathing, this is known as tracheal stenosis. Learn more