This type of stenosis refers to a narrowing of the airway or windpipe. The condition creates breathing difficulties and can be caused by scarring of the larynx or the vocal cords. The voice can be affected. There are two kinds of subglottic and tracheal stenosis:

Acquired subglottic stenosis can happen after long periods of intubation and ventilation for respiratory problems.

Congenital subglottic stenosis is a rare birth defect where the airway cartilage did not properly form. This creates a narrow space and causes:

  • Noisy breathing
  • Respiratory distress
  • Recurring croup
  • Inability to breathe without a tracheostomy tube

Treatment depends on the severity of narrowing and other existing conditions. Most treatments deliver excellent outcomes. Options include:

  • Endoscopic surgery to widen the narrowed area with a balloon and remove scar tissue
  • Tracheostomy tube to assist breathing
  • Surgery to repair and rebuild the airway (laryngotracheal reconstruction)