At the UCHealth and University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Anschutz Medical Campus an incredible new procedure is being implemented. Through the work of the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s chief of general thoracic surgery Dr. John Mitchell and the elite team in the Comprehensive Lung and Breathing Program, individuals with the rare condition called idiopathic subglottic stenosis are getting a new lease on life. Idiopathic subglottic stenosis causes issues breathing due to a narrowing of the airway at the base of the larynx. With this particular condition the narrowing occurs spontaneously, from an unknown cause, or both. Some cases are caused though as a reaction to a damaged airway from a tracheostomy tube, after intubation, or because of Wegener’s granulomatosis. The surgical repair of the idiopathic subglottic stenosis consist of “a resection of the damaged part of the windpipe and larynx and the anastomosis of the now-separated trachea.” Essentially, the surgeon extracts the problem and then stitches the “windpipe’s open ends back together without damaging the nerves that control the voice box.” (Neff, “Deep breath thanks to subglottic stenosis surgery”, 2018). The research and training for this procedure is made possible by non-transplant donations, such as those facilitated by Meaningful Donation.
In Todd Neff’s article “Deep breath thanks to subglottic stenosis surgery”, he brings forth the compelling story of local woman, Lindsey Williams. She is a veterinarian, teacher, mother, and wife, whose life is turned upside down as she faces the possibility of going on permanent disability due to her condition. Read More below.