Airway stenosis is a congenital or acquired narrowing that obstructs the passage of air to the lungs. Symptoms include stridor, wheezing, hoarseness, shortness of breath and respiratory distress. Patients who have severe airway stenosis are often dependent on a tracheotomy tube to breathe.
The most common cause of acquired airway stenosis is endotracheal intubation, resulting in 90% of cases.1 Other causes include external trauma, thermal or caustic injuries, chronic inflammatory diseases, infection, and cancer.
Treatment options range from endoscopic techniques to open surgical procedures. Open surgical procedures involve either increasing the diameter of the stenosed segment with a graft or stent (expansion surgery) or removal of the stenotic area (resection surgery).
Endoscopic techniques may involve the use of instruments to incise and dilate the stenosis. Traditional methods of airway dilation have involved rigid bougies that can impart shear forces and mucosal injury. The recent development of balloon technology for airway dilation enables controlled radial pressure to be applied at the site of stenosis.
INSPIRA AIR® Balloon Dilation System: A minimally invasive solution for airway management
The INSPIRA AIR® Technology is designed to safely dilate airway strictures such as in the trachea and upper bronchi with minimal mucosal trauma. These devices are endoscopic tools and may be used with other endoscopic techniques or adjuvant therapies.
Unlike traditional rigid dilators, the INSPIRA AIR® Technology applies controlled radial pressure to a stricture through precise inflation and pressure regulation. The low profile system and soft seeker tip provide atraumatic access.
The following diagram outlines the balloon dilation process:
The INSPIRA AIR® Balloon Dilation System is introduced into the airway under direct visualization. The airway stylet facilitates atraumatic access across narrow stenosis.
The balloon is gently inflated, applying controlled radial pressure to the stricture. After dilation, the balloon is deflated and withdrawn from the airway.
1 Kliegman, R., et al, Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. Saunders, 2007.