Thyroid ala perichondrial flaps for subglottic reconstruction

J. Drew Prosser, Carrie M. Bush, Gregory N. Postma, Paul Maurice Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives/Hypothesis: Techniques available for reconstruction of the cricotracheal region in adults are currently sub-optimal. We sought to 1) understand the anatomic basis for the thyroid ala perichondrial flap, 2) describe the technique of harvesting and intraluminal placement, and 3) learn the limitations of defects for which it can be used. Study Design: Cadaveric anatomical study. Methods: In fresh cadaveric specimens, the perichondrium of the outer layer of the thyroid cartilage was elevated by tracing the superior, medial, and lateral borders of each thyroid cartilage ala. The inferiorly based flap was then placed into the airway through the cricothyroid membrane. The extent of coverage was measured. Results: A total of 10 flaps were performed (6 male and 4 female). The average length of thyroid perichondrial flaps obtained was 1.67 cm. All flaps were able to completely cover the cricoid cartilage and extended to but did not cover the first tracheal ring. Once placed intraluminally, the flaps extended 2.4 cm below the vocal cords. Using both flaps enabled coverage of the entire anterior 180 degrees of the airway lumen in all specimens. There were no significant differences in male/female or right-sided/left-sided flaps. Conclusions: The thyroid ala perichondrial flap is technically feasible and can provide coverage of anterior airway defects up to approximately 2.4 cm below the true vocal cords. This flap could enable transfer of vascularized tissue to aid in cricotracheal reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2368-2370
Number of pages3
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Airway reconstruction
  • Subglottic stenosis
  • Thyroid perichondrial flap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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