We performed a retrospective chart review to examine and describe our clinical experience of use of the Lichtenberger technique to place silicone elastomer keels after lysis of existing webs or for prevention of webs following anterior commissure surgery in adults. Twenty-two patients were identified for inclusion, ranging in age from 24 to 80 years. For 18 patients with existing glottic webs, the surgical procedure involved laryngoscopy with complete lysis of the anterior glottic web by laser or sharp technique, followed by placement of a square of silicone elastomer that is sutured in place with the Lichtenberger needle holder and left in place for 3 to 5 weeks. The procedure was well tolerated, and successfully corrected the web in all but 2 cases. For 4 patients, the procedure was performed prophylactically at the time of anterior commissure surgery considered high-risk for web formation. The procedure does not require a tracheotomy, and patients can maintain a normal diet and have functional phonation while the keel is in place. This approach to treating anterior glottic webs offers several advantages over traditional open thyrotomy with keel placement and should be considered to treat or prevent anterior glottic webs.
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