Complications following laser wedge excision for idiopathic subglottic stenosis

Bradley A. Richards, Katherine Z. Xie, Andrew Jay Bowen, Aisha Aden, Joshua Wiedermann, Amy L. Rutt, Robert Vassallo, Eric S. Edell, Semirra L. Bayan, Jan L. Kasperbauer, Dale C. Ekbom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Endoscopic laser wedge excision (LWE) is an effective treatment option for idiopathic subglottic stenosis (iSGS); however, data regarding complications following LWE are limited. The aim of the following analysis was to provide a review of frequency and type of complications that occur with LWE in patients with iSGS. Study design: Retrospective review. Methods: Patients with iSGS undergoing LWE between January 2002 and September 2021 were performed. Demographic data were recorded. Complications were stratified into major and minor categories. The frequency of these complications and the respective treatment for them was analyzed. Results: 212 patients within the study period underwent a total of 573 LWE procedures. All but two patients were female, with a median age of 54 years at time of LWE. Of these patients, 43 (20 %) patients experienced a complication. Of these, only 7 (15 %) of the reported complications were considered major while the rest were minor in nature. Major complications included 3 cases of post-operative hemoptysis, 1 case of tracheitis, and 3 cases of reduced vocal fold hypomobility with concurrent glottic stenosis. Minor complications consisted of 2 cases of tooth fracture and 34 cases of tongue paresthesia post-operatively that was self-limited. There were no mortalities. Conclusion: Major complications occur in <5 % of LWE procedures based off the analysis. All major complications were managed without significant long-term morbidity. Minor complications with the LWE are self-limited in nature. Our data supports the LWE as a safe treatment option for iSGS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103629
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • CO laser
  • Endoscopic dilation
  • Idiopathic subglottic stenosis
  • Laser wedge excision
  • Suspension laryngoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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