Current Environment:

What is a slide tracheoplasty?

At the Center for Airway Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital, our doctors are world-renowned experts in the treatment of long-segment tracheal stenosis and complete tracheal rings using a surgical procedure called slide tracheoplasty. Because these conditions can be very serious, it is important to seek immediate and expert diagnosis and treatment.

At Boston Children’s, our team of experienced doctors will treat your child, including a cardiothoracic surgeon dedicated to pediatric surgeries of the airway.

What happens during a slide tracheoplasty?

Slide tracheoplasty is a surgical procedure to improve airflow in your child’s obstructed airway. The procedure is complex, but here is an overview of how it works. Your child’s surgical team will:

  • divide your child’s narrowed trachea across the middle of the stenosis (the narrowing)
  • trim the upper segment vertically in the back, and trim the lower segment in the front across the full length of the stenosis (narrowed portion of the trachea)
  • trim the right-angled corners produced by these divisions above and below, so the opened ends slide into each other
  • suture (attach) these ends to create an airway that is twice as wide and half as long

The increased width is essential to improving the flow of air in your child’s obstructed airway. The surgery can take up to four hours, after which your child will have an endotracheal tube (breathing tube) for a few days.

What are the advantages of a slide tracheoplasty?

Slide tracheoplasty has several advantages, including:

  • fewer complications, such as reoccurrence of the stenosis
  • blood supply is preserved
  • shorter intubation periods after surgery than other techniques
  • fewer interventions overall after the surgery
  • healthy tracheal growth

A modified slide tracheoplasty can be successfully performed in all types of long-segment congenital tracheal stenosis, including patients with bronchial stenosis and tracheal bronchus anomalies.

What are the risks of a slide tracheoplasty?

There is a risk of injuring vital structures, such as nerves, the esophagus, and major blood vessels, during this surgery. This is because of the extensive dissection and reconstruction that is required.

Your child should be treated by doctors who are highly experienced and specially trained in this procedure. Our surgeons are among the most experienced in their field for this complex treatment. Meet our airway disorders team.

Make an appointment

To make an appointment or speak with a member of our team, please call 617-355-3795. For families residing outside of the United States, please call Boston Children's Global Services at +1-617-355-5209.

Slide Tracheoplasty | Programs & Services