Laryngotracheal reconstruction and swallowing: A review

Jennifer F. Ha, Lynn Driver, David A. Zopf

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives Significant advances in laryngotracheal reconstruction over the last few decades have revolutionised the management of paediatric patients with complex congenital or acquired airway stenosis. The primary aim of laryngotracheal reconstruction has focused primarily on airway and surgery specific outcomes, often at the expense of voice, as well as swallowing function, which are all intricately related. There is currently a paucity of data on swallowing outcome. The goal of this paper is to review and discuss the existing research on the impact of laryngotracheal on swallowing. Methods Narrative review. Results Successful and safe oral feeding in children requires a highly complex and integrated sensorimotor system for proper timing and coordination, beginning with a well-coordinated suck-swallow-breathe sequence in infancy. Factors to consider include the normal laryngeal anatomy, nutrition as a stimulus and the development of feeding skills on swallowing, the underlying aetiology and other risk factors, LTR procedures and their adjuncts. All these impact on the children's growth. Swallow assessments and rehabilitation is therefore an important part of the post-operative care. Conclusions As airway reconstructive surgeries have improved in airway and surgery specific outcomes, swallowing function is an important secondary outcome that impacts on the children's and their families’ life. Management in a multi-disciplinary manner will optimise the outcome and improve their quality of life.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)138-141
    Number of pages4
    JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


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