Laryngotracheal separation surgery for intractable aspiration: Our experience with 12 patients

Yuri M. Gelfand, Newton O. Duncan, James T. Albright, Soham Roy, Barbara Montagnino, Joseph L. Edmonds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Laryngotracheal separation surgery (LTS) was performed as a treatment for recurrent or intractable aspiration pneumonia in 12 pediatric patients. The effectiveness of LTS surgery for preventing aspiration pneumonia, and the complications of this procedure were investigated. Methods: A retrospective chart review, conducted at a tertiary academic hospital in conjunction with a private practice, was used to identify children who underwent Laryngotracheal Separation Surgery (LTS) from September 2001 to July 2007. The main outcome measure was the number of hospital admissions for pneumonia in the pre LTS and post LTS period. A student's t-test was used for statistical analysis. Results: LTS surgery decreased the frequency of pulmonary infections and respiratory events in all patients, resulting in far fewer hospitalizations. These patients experienced an average of 5 hospital admissions for pneumonia in the 2 years prior to LTS surgery, and an average of 1.1 hospital admissions for pneumonia after the LTS surgery. There were no major complications related to the surgery. Several minor complications following surgery were easily and effectively dealt with in the perioperative period. Conclusions: LTS surgery is an effective and safe procedure in children with intractable aspiration. Parents do not perceive the care of the LTS stoma as burdensome. This procedure should be considered as an option in the surgical intervention for the management of chronic aspiration pneumonia in severely neurologically impaired children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)931-934
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Fiberopticendoscopic swallow study
  • Gastro-esophageal scintigraphy
  • Intractable aspiration
  • Laryngo tracheal
  • Phonation
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Total laryngectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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