Tracheal stenosis is a narrowing of the trachea that ultimately leads to breathing problem. This is the result of scar tissue that forms in a person’s trachea after trauma, such as prolonged intubation or a tracheostomy, as well as radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Dr. McKenna is skilled in treating tracheal stenosis and restoring your trachea back to its original state.

There are four options available to treat tracheal stenosis. Each one offers benefits and drawbacks. Dr. McKenna uses caution and his expertise to determine which option is best for his patients. There is no one size fits all solution.

Tracheal Reconstruction and Resection

During this procedure, Dr. McKenna will surgically remove the portion of the trachea that is constricted and the reconnect the healthy sections. We’ve seen exceptional long-term results with this surgery and commonly recommend it to patients that we believe it is a fit for.

Bronchoscopic Tracheal Dilation

Through this procedure, we widen the trachea through the use of a balloon or instrument known as a tracheal dilator. This is a temporary solution that gives us a better idea of the overall condition of the trachea and can also allow us to understand what is causing the stenosis if we don’t know.

Laser Bronchoscopy

This is an option that Dr. McKenna uses sparingly as if used on the wrong patient it can worsen the stenosis. Laser surgery, in every case, is a short-term solution that provides temporary relief. We only use this solution if Dr. McKenna understands what the underlying problems of a patient are and can determine if this is truly the best solution or not.

Tracheobronchial Airway Stent

This is both a long-term and short-term solution that uses a metal or silicone tube to keep the airway open by providing additional support. This is another solution that the doctor uses with caution as not everyone is a candidate for a stent.

If you are suffering from tracheal stenosis and are looking for a treatment that will provide you with relief, contact us. Dr. McKenna has extensive experience treating tracheal stenosis and will help determine which solution is best for your unique needs.

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About the Authors

Dr. Robert McKenna

Dr. Robert McKenna

Robert McKenna, M.D., is the Professor of Surgery, and Director of the Minimally Invasive Chest Surgery and Thoracic Surgical Oncology Center at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Dr. Robert McKenna is an internationally renowned thoracic surgeon, who has dedicated over 2 decades in General Thoracic surgery research and clinical care. Learn More About Dr. Robert McKenna.

Osita, M.D., MBA Onugha,

Osita Onugha, M.D., MBA, is the Assistant Professor of Minimally Invasive Chest Surgery and Thoracic Surgical Oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Dr. Onugha is a board-certified surgeon and assistant professor of thoracic surgery at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Dr. Onugha practices all aspects of thoracic surgery, including procedures for benign and malignant conditions of the lung, esophagus and mediastinum. Learn More About Dr. Osita Onugha.

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