Immediate postoperative airway obstruction secondary to airway edema following tumor excision from the neck

Goneppanavar, Umesh and Ellango, Appuswamy and Kaur, Jasvinder and Kini, Gurudas (2009) Immediate postoperative airway obstruction secondary to airway edema following tumor excision from the neck. Journal of Anesthesia, 23 (4). pp. 609-612. ISSN 0913-8668

[img] PDF
Neck_mass_JA.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (169kB) | Request a copy


A 46-year-old woman was scheduled for excision of a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor from the neck. The tumor had caused deviation of the trachea to the left and partial obstruction of the superior vena cava. Her upper airway at laryngoscopy after induction of anesthesia was normal. During tumor resection there were transient phases characterized by the complete disappearance of the peripheral oxygen saturation (Sp(O2)) and radial artery tracings. At the end of the operation, the trachea was extubated after ensuring adequate antagonization of neuromuscular blockade. However, immediately post-extubation, she showed signs of acute airway obstruction that necessitated reintubation of the trachea. Laryngoscopy revealed significant edema of the upper airway and vocal cords, requiring a smaller size tracheal tube. Many reports suggest the development of significant airway edema 24 h after such surgery. Our report highlights the fact that this can happen in the immediate postoperative period also. Some authors suggest that, in such surgery, extubation should routinely be done over pediatric tube exchangers. Routine leak testing and direct laryngoscopic/fiberoptic evaluation of the upper airway prior to extubation may also help. While our report reaffirms these points, it also stresses the importance of intraoperative monitoring for the compression of the great vessels, which may serve as a useful indicator of the early development of airway edema.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Airway edema. Airway obstruction. Intubation. Neck surgery
Subjects: Medicine > KMC Manipal > Anaesthesiology
Depositing User: KMC Manipal
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2012 06:50
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2012 06:50

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item