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Voice and Airway Outcomes of Montgomery T-tube Placement in Laryngotracheal Stenosis

      Summary

      Objectives

      To describe voice and airway outcomes and complications experienced by patients with laryngotracheal stenosis following Montgomery T-tube placement.

      Methods

      Retrospective chart review of all patients with laryngotracheal stenosis and Montgomery T-tube placement treated at a tertiary referral center from 2012 to 2021.

      Results

      Eighteen patients met criteria with laryngotracheal stenosis, seven including the level of the glottis and 11 without glottal involvement. Eleven were completely aphonic before T-tube placement and the remainder had severe dysphonia. There was improvement of Voice Handicap Index-10, Reflux Symptom Index, and GRBAS grade following T-tube placement in patients compared to their preoperative values. Improvement of grade was greater in patients without glottal involvement. Complications of chronic indwelling T-tube included granulation in 14 patients (78%), tracheitis in two patients (11%), and mucus plugging in three patients (17%) with one T-tube related mortality. Five patients were eventually decannulated, six returned to tracheostomy tube, and seven retained the T-tube at last follow-up (average: 30 months, range: 4-80 months).

      Conclusions

      Montgomery T-tube placement improves voice in patients with severe dysphonia secondary to laryngotracheal stenosis with and without glottal involvement though the degree of improvement is greater in patients without glottal involvement. T-tube can help reestablish long-term laryngotracheal continuity in patients with no other surgical options. The potential benefits in phonation should be weighed against the possibility of rare but serious adverse events.

      Key Words

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