CTR is a surgery in which the narrowed part of the airway just below the voice box (larynx) is removed and the voice box and windpipe (trachea) are sewn back together. It is also used to treat other airway problems.
Depending on where the narrowing is, this may be done as a single stage (one step) surgery or a staged (multiple step) surgery. If your child has a tracheotomy tube, it would be removed in the single stage. In the staged surgery, a stent would be placed above the tracheotomy tube.
There will be a cut in the neck where the surgery was done. Your child will also have a small drain in the neck to allow fluid and air to drain after surgery. This drain will be removed when your ENT doctor feels it is ready to come out, usually two to three days after surgery. All children who have this procedure will have chin to chest sutures (stitches) that will remain in place seven to 10 days. These sutures are placed from the skin of the lower chin to the upper chest and are used to prevent the child from moving the head too far back. In some cases, a neck brace may be worn instead of sutures. This keeps the airway stitches from pulling apart.
If done in a single stage (SSCTR), your child will have a breathing tube (also known as an endotracheal or ETT) that will be placed through the nose after surgery. The breathing tube holds open the airway and supports the repair site.
If done in a double stage (DSCTR), a stent will be placed above the tracheotomy tube or a T-tube will be placed instead of the tracheotomy tube. The T-tube or stent will be used to hold open the airway and support the repair site. Your ENT doctor will decide how long the T-tube or stent will be in place.