Slide Tracheoplasty

A slide tracheoplasty improves airflow by enlarging the airway. The trachea is opened in the front and back through an incision in the neck. The open ends of the trachea are then reattached to make the trachea shorter and wider, creating a larger airway than standard tracheal resection.

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UC Health is the only center in the country offering this unique treatment for adults. We are also one of the top three programs in the country for adult airway reconstruction.

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At UC Health, our subspecialists are among the nation’s most experienced physicians in adult airway reconstruction for complex voice and airway conditions. As one of the top three centers in the nation, UC Health Adult Airway Reconstruction is at the forefront of discovering new techniques through extensive research and expertise.

To schedule an appointment, please call the UC Health Adult Airway Reconstruction team at 513-475-8400.

Help Along the Way

Answers to Your Questions

A slide tracheoplasty helps repair damage to the lining and cartilage of the airway, usually for patients who already have a tracheotomy in place.

Prior to surgery, patients will undergo a comprehensive evaluation, including a bronchoscopy, CT scan and breathing test.

Most procedures take about six hours. Some patients may wake up with a tracheotomy in place, but others may not. Patients will also wear a protective collar for 14 days following surgery. If they have a tracheotomy placed, it removed four to six weeks after surgery. 

This procedure can be performed on both routine and complex cases and has an average success rate of 100%.

This procedure is designed to provide patients with better airflow and improved oxygen flow, leading to better voice quality and overall improved quality of life, especially if they are able to have their tracheotomy removed.

This procedure is a good option for patients with tracheal stenosis (narrowing of the windpipe), who have functional limitations (trouble breathing, airway collapsing) or those who already have a tracheotomy. It can also be used to treat tracheomalacia (windpipe collapse) and for patients that did not have success with an endoscopic procedure.

Following surgery, patients stay in the hospital for about a week and will have a breathing tube placed during recovery. 

While the breathing tube is in place, patients will be in the ICU for  close monitoring. The breathing tube is then removed once the patient’s breathing stabilizes. 

Swelling typically reduces in a couple of weeks, and patients will have a follow-up appointment a month later. About 50% of patients will require some voice therapy after surgery.

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