While obstruction of the central airways usually occurs over time, patients so affected often require relief on an urgent or semiurgent basis. Physicians have many tools at their disposal, but none can match the microdebrider for its combination of rapid tissue removal and precision.
The microdebrider is a simple instrument: a spinning blade mounted on a hollow tube coupled to suction. It allows the surgeon to remove tissue in a precise manner, avoiding damage to surrounding structures and limiting the need for thermal modalities. Orthopedic surgeons and otolaryngologists have employed microdebriders for years. Thoracic surgeons and interventional pulmonologists have discovered microdebridement more recently, gaining experience in airway interventions over the last 5 years. Physicians have described its use in managing airway granulation tissue, removing foreign bodies, debriding papillomas, and removing malignant tissue.
As investigators have gained more experience with microdebridement, studies have been completed to compare standard operations in the upper respiratory tract done with microdebridement to more traditional techniques. Microdebridement for airway interventions has grown out of its infancy. Though not without limitations, it is a very useful modality for physicians well versed in suspension laryngoscopy and rigid bronchoscopy.
KeywordsAirway Wall Argon Plasma Coagulation Acoustic Neuroma Airway Intervention Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Laser
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