To report the use of flexible fiber CO2 laser in the endoscopic management of pediatric airway cases.
A retrospective review was conducted of patients who underwent CO2 laser-assisted airway procedures between September 2007 and January 2014 at a tertiary pediatric hospital.
Sixty-eight patients underwent 80 procedures utilizing flexible fiber CO2 laser. Procedures included supraglottoplasty (n = 32), laryngeal cleft repair (type I [n = 10], type II [n = 7], type III [n = 6]), suprastomal granuloma excision (n = 6), cordotomy (n = 4), laryngeal neurofibroma excision (n = 4), laryngeal granulomatous mass excision (n = 1), subglottic stenosis excision (n = 6), division of glottic web (n = 2), subglottic cyst excision (n = 1), and supraglottic biopsy (n = 1). Ages ranged from 8 days to 21 years (median 11 months). No intraoperative or postoperative complications related to the use of laser were noted.
The flexible fiber CO2 laser can be safely and effectively used to address a variety of pediatric airway lesions. Previously, the use of CO2 laser in minimally invasive airway surgery has been limited due to the articulating arm carrier, absence of a hand piece, and the direct line-of sight view required. The fiber allows the cutting beam to be directed at the site of the lesion and bypasses limitations posed by other laser systems.