Laryngotracheal reconstruction is a surgery performed to widen the airway to improve breathing. Laryngotracheal reconstruction is performed when a portion of the airway, known as the subglottis, or region immediately below the vocal folds is narrowed. This narrowing may be a result of scar, trauma, or be a condition that develops or unknown reasons. If the narrowing is severe enough, or does not respond to other treatments including dilation, a laryngotracheal reconstruction may be necessary.
In this surgery cartilage from another site is used to stent open the narrowed airway. Cartilage from other sites, including rib cartilage, thyroid cartilage, ear cartilage or septum cartilage is removed and then used to stent open the airway. After surgery a patient may need a temporary tracheotomy or breathing tube placed through the neck while the body heals.