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Subacute airway obstruction caused by a suprastomal tracheal granuloma following tracheotomy in an adult

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September 21, 2011
by Elizabeth A. Kelly, MD, Arunkumar N. Badi, MD, PhD, Joel H. Blumin, MD, and David M. Poetker, MD


We report a case of a post-tracheotomy suprastomal granuloma in the early postoperative phase that caused subacute airway obstruction in a 28-year-old woman. The patient had undergone the tracheotomy during the surgical treatment of a submental abscess. During recovery, several capping trials had failed. Therefore, direct laryngoscopy was performed on postoperative day 11, and it revealed that the airway was being obstructed by a tracheal granuloma. The granuloma was managed with a partial resection and corticosteroids. The patient was successfully decannulated with no recurrence of the granuloma. To the best of our knowledge, airway obstruction secondary to a tracheal granuloma has not been previously reported as an early complication of a traditional surgical tracheotomy in an adult. In this report, we discuss the presenting features of this case and we propose several possible etiologies.

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