How you prepare

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Discussing surgical options

Laryngotracheal reconstruction surgery may be performed using a couple different techniques:

  • An endoscopic approach involves inserting instruments through your mouth to reach the airway.
  • Open-airway surgery involves making an incision in your neck. Open-airway surgery may be performed in a single stage or in multiple stages (procedures).

Endoscopic and single-stage open-airway surgeries are generally recommended for mild cases of stenosis, when your or your child's airway isn't severely narrowed.

For more-severe cases of stenosis or if you have medical conditions that may complicate surgery — such as heart, lung or neurological conditions — the doctor may recommend a slower, more conservative approach and perform multiple-stage open-airway reconstruction, which involves a series of procedures over the span of a few months to several years.

After taking into consideration your or your child's condition and any other medical issues, the doctor will discuss the most appropriate course of action.

Preparing for surgery

Carefully follow your doctor's directions about how to prepare for surgery.

  • Avoid food and drink. Your doctor should tell you what time you or your child need to stop eating and drinking in the hours before surgery. Having food or drink before surgery could lead to complications during surgery, such as inhaling partially digested food into the lungs (aspiration). Young children are generally scheduled for morning surgery. If you or your child eats or drinks after the requested cutoff time, surgery may have to be postponed.
  • Bring favorite items from home to comfort your child. If your child is having surgery, favorite items from home such as a stuffed animal, blanket or photos displayed in the hospital room may help comfort your child. This can help smooth the recovery process.
March 27, 2013