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Surgery of the Airway

Options and treatments


​If you are facing the prospect of airway surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery surgeons, using some of the most state-of-the-art technology can expertly help you navigate your options.  Assisting in your care from diagnosis through surgery, the procedures can be used to treat both common and rare disorders of the trachea and airway.  Some of the more common diagnoses treated by surgery include:

  • Fistulas

Not very common, fistulas can result from prolonged mechanical ventilation.  The fistula is an abnormal connection between the trachea and the esophagus.

  • Tumors

Tumors can present in different portions of the airway including the trachea and the carina. Often, surgery is used to remove these tumors and can be used in conjunction with other forms treatments should the tumor be cancerous.

  • Stenosis

Stenosis is the narrowing of the trachea making its function difficult and labored. Causes can be congenital, a result of cancer or following a prolonged period of intubation. Depending on the severity, treatment can be done with stents or even removal of sections of the trachea.

Our surgeons who treat this condition


This information is provided by the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. It is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.