Indian Journal Of Otolaryngology And Head And Neck Surgery: Official Publication Of The Association Of Otolaryngologists Of India [Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg] 2017 Sep; Vol. 69 (3), pp. 307-312. Date of Electronic Publication: 2017 Feb 09.
Laryngeal cleft is a rare congenital malformation of the respiratory tract leading to a high level of morbidity and mortality, recently being diagnosed with increased frequency. Management throughout the years included medical and surgical. The open surgical technique is more commonly used although it has higher risk and need longer post-operative care. Recently surgical endoscopic repair was introduced using different techniques. To evaluate the clinical features of infants and children presenting with laryngeal clefts, and review endoscopic management modality especially the technique and results of repair using double-layer (2 layers) technique. Outlining our experience with the surgical technique, complications arising from surgery as well as surgical outcome by evaluating the decannulation rate and cessation of the assisted feeding by the end of treatment. Retrospective case series study. Review of infant and children seen in our clinic with the diagnosis of laryngeal cleft from January 2012 till June 2014., and treated by CO2 laser assisted double-layer endoscopic closure. The presenting symptoms, patient demographics, diagnostic procedure, cleft type, surgical outcome and complications all were evaluated. We revised the case notes of 34 patients with a workable diagnosis of Laryngeal cleft. A total of 11 patients met our criteria and were included in the study. Clefts typing was according to modified Benjamin-Ingles classification, type 1 (n = 9) and type 2 (n = 2). All clefts were closed endoscopically by CO2 laser incision of the mucosa and two-layer endoscopic closure of the cleft without postoperative intubation or tracheotomy. They accepted oral feeding within 5 postoperative days (range 3-11 days). 5 out of 6 patients (83.3%) successfully stopped nasogastric feeding and 1 out of 2 patients successfully weaned from nasal cannula. One patient deceased few months after surgery due to other medical problems. Two patients needed redo after burst of the upper cleft stitches immediately after repair by iatrogenic cause during suctioning. The repair was stable in all patients during the second look 6 weeks after surgery with no recurrence or fistula formed. There were no clinically significant observed complications with this technique. After a mean follow up of 24 months, all children have a good voice, have no sign of residual aspiration, and less hospital admissions. Laryngeal cleft should be suspected in children presenting with recurrent pneumonia and difficulties during feeding. Endoscopic repair is a successful and safe technique for treating laryngeal clefts, and has short post-operative recovery without postoperative intubation or tracheotomy. Using the double-layer technique appeared to be promising but needs more comparative studies in the future.