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Surgical management of airway stenosis by radiofrequency coblation

  • C L Chan (a1), C A Frauenfelder (a1), A Foreman (a1), T Athanasiadis (a1), E Ooi (a1) and A S Carney (a1)...



Acquired airway stenosis can be challenging to manage endoscopically because of difficult field visualisation, instrument limitations and the risk of laser fire. At our institution, radiofrequency coblation has been successfully used for the resection of subglottic and tracheal stenosis in adults. This paper presents our experience with this technique.


A retrospective case note analysis of all cases of airway stenosis in adults from 2007 to 2012 was performed.


Ten adult patients underwent coblation resection for airway stenosis. All lesions were classified as McCaffrey stage I (i.e. less than 1 cm long). Causes of stenosis included: idiopathic stenosis (40 per cent), previous tracheostomy (30 per cent) and endotracheal intubation (20 per cent). Six patients (60 per cent) required a single procedure and 4 (40 per cent) required multiple interventions. All patients reported significant improvement in their symptoms following treatment. All patients were alive at the time of writing and none have required open resection.


Radiofrequency coblation is an attractive alternative technique for the treatment of idiopathic or acquired airway stenosis in adults.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Prof A Simon Carney, Suite 200, Flinders Private Hospital, Bedford Park, Adelaide, South Australia 5042, Australia Fax: +61-8-8219-9908 E-mail:


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Presented at the Australian Society for Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Annual Scientific Meeting, 16–20 March 2013, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.



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Surgical management of airway stenosis by radiofrequency coblation

  • C L Chan (a1), C A Frauenfelder (a1), A Foreman (a1), T Athanasiadis (a1), E Ooi (a1) and A S Carney (a1)...


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