Airway disease

Tracheal resection is performed when there is a significant narrowing in the windpipe. Narrowing of the windpipe can cause severe breathing difficulties which can be life threatening. Narrowing of the windpipe can also make chest infections more likely to occur.  It can occur for many reasons, including injury, infection, cancer, stomach acid reflux, a birth defect, the result of the insertion of a breathing tube (intubation) or disease that causes blood vessel or tissue inflammation.

Airway stents are devices used to splint narrowed airways open. Narrowed, or stenotic airways can be caused by abnormal granulation tissue, lung cancer, metastatic cancers, infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, or other inflammatory diseases. Stents are cylindrical in shape and can be deployed by a bronchoscope. There are various materials that can be used in stents, with different stents having different disease indications. They can be permanent or removable. By placing a stent, the airways remain open, allowing adequate airflow and the normal passage of secretions

Cryotherapy is a way of killing cells by freezing them. It is also called cryosurgery or cryoablation. Cryotherapy can shrink a tumour that is blocking an airway, it can also be used to treat benign airways disease. It can relieve breathlessness and other symptoms such as: a cough, haemoptysis (coughing up blood), or recurrent chest infections. Unfortunately it cannot cure cancer.

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