Laryngeal mask for airway management in open tracheal surgery—a retrospective analysis of 54 cases

Martina Krecmerova, Jan Schutzner, Pavel Michalek, Paul Johnson, Tomas Vymazal


Background: Airway management in tracheal resections presents many challenges. The aim of this retrospective analysis is to report the efficacy and complications associated with the use of the laryngeal mask airway in this procedure.
Methods: The charts of 54 consecutive patients operated for tracheal stenosis during the period 2009–2016 were reviewed. This cohort included only resections of the trachea. We evaluated total success rate of laryngeal mask insertion (%), insertion success rate on the first attempt, the quality of intraoperative ventilation through the laryngeal mask, the quality of fibre optic view through the device, incidence of bleeding during the first 24 h, signs of dehiscence of the anastomosis within 48 h and 30-day mortality.
Results: The laryngeal mask airway provided a patent airway throughout the procedure in 52 (96.4%) patients. Insertion of the device failed in 1 (1.8%) patient due to abnormal upper airway anatomy. Another patient (1.8%) developed laryngeal mask malposition during intraoperative neck extension subsequently requiring tracheal intubation. Fibre optic view through the devices including insertion of the flexible bronchoscope was satisfactory in 52 (96.4%) patients. Serious complications, such as pulmonary aspiration, early postoperative bleeding or suture dehiscence were not observed in this cohort.
Conclusions: Based on this analysis of 54 patients, we would consider the laryngeal mask airway a feasible alternative to the tracheal tube for airway management and ventilation during open tracheal surgery.