Background: congenital and acquired airway anomalies represent a relatively common albeit challenging problem in a national tertiary care hospital. In the past, most of these patients were sent to foreign Centres because of the lack of local experience in reconstructive surgery of the paediatric airway. In 2009, a dedicated team was established at our Institute. Gaslini's Tracheal Team includes different professionals, namely anaesthetists, intensive care specialists, neonatologists, pulmonologists, radiologists, and ENT, paediatric, and cardiovascular surgeons. The aim of this project was to provide these multidisciplinary patients, at any time, with intensive care, radiological investigations, diagnostic and operative endoscopy, reconstructive surgery, ECMO or cardiopulmonary bypass. Aim of this study is to present the results of the first year of airway reconstructive surgery activity of the Tracheal Team. Methods. between September 2009 and December 2010, 97 patients were evaluated or treated by our Gaslini Tracheal Team. Most of them were evaluated by both rigid and flexible endoscopy. In this study we included 8 patients who underwent reconstructive surgery of the airways. Four of them were referred to our centre or previously treated surgically or endoscopically without success in other Centres. Results: Eight patients required 9 surgical procedures on the airway: 4 cricotracheal resections, 2 laryngotracheoplasties, 1 tracheal resection, 1 repair of laryngeal cleft and 1 foreign body removal with cardiopulmonary bypass through anterior tracheal opening. Moreover, in 1 case secondary aortopexy was performed. All patients achieved finally good results, but two of them required two surgeries and most required endoscopic manoeuvres after surgery. The most complex cases were the ones who had already been previously treated. Conclusions: The treatment of paediatric airway anomalies requires a dedicated multidisciplinary approach and a single tertiary care Centre providing rapid access to endoscopic and surgical manoeuvres on upper and lower airways and the possibility to start immediately cardiopulmonary bypass or ECMO. The preliminary experience of the Tracheal Team shows that good results can be obtained with this multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of complicated cases. The centralization of all the cases in one or few national Centres should be considered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health