Tracheal stenosis is narrowing of the trachea, or “windpipe”. Tracheal stenosis causes shortness of breath, which is made worse during exercise. Noisy breathing can be heard when tracheal stenosis is severe.
Causes of tracheal stenosis include:
Scar formed from the tip of a breathing tube
Wegener’s granulomatosis – a condition of blood vessel inflammation
Trauma, such as an inhalation burn injury
Symptoms of tracheal stenosis include:
Shortness of breath during exertion and sometimes at rest
Noisy breathing, also known as stridor Cough
Feeling of phlegm “stuck” within the airway
Diagnosis of tracheal stenosis:
To diagnose tracheal stenosis the narrowed portion of the airway must be visualized. During bronchoscopy a flexible camera is passed into the airway.
A CT scan may also be used to evaluate the size of the airway and degree of narrowing as well.
Treatment for tracheal stenosis:
Treatment for tracheal stenosis enlarges the size of the airway, thus making breathing easier. In the operating room bronchscopy is performed with the patient asleep. Sometimes a laser is used to cut the narrowed portion of the airway from the inside. A high pressure balloon dilator is then used to expand the size of the airway. Steroids and other medications are applied to prevent scar formation. This entire procedure is performed through the mouth.
When balloon dilation is inadequate, open resection can be performed. A skin cut is made on the neck and the stenotic airway is removed. The normal airway is then reattached and sutured together.
Throatdisorder.com is an online resource for patients and physicians to learn more about common voice, swallowing, breathing and throat disorders. Throat complaints, from cough to cancer, are a common reason for patients to seek medical treatment. This website developed as a result of Dr. Sunil Verma's passions: that of education, patient care, and interest in technology.
NOTE : The information presented on this site is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified physician. It may not be appropriate to your individual case, and should not be used in making treatment decisions, especially with regard to medication. Considerable effort is made to ensure that the information on this site is accurate, but medicine is a changing field, and this website is not responsible for errors or omissions. Use of this website acknowledges the above.