Pictures of Foreign Body in the Larynx and Trachea
This page was last updated: November 1, 2019
Suspension Microlaryngoscopy Picture of Foreign Body in the Larynx

Five years ago, this patient had a tracheotomy and was decannulated six months later.  His tracheostoma healed well.  He presented with a history of intractable cough that did not respond to any treatment.  On flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy, he had a bluish string originating in the trachea and emerging between the vocal cords.  The string looked like a Prolene suture with a surgical knot (see pictures below).

Suspension Microlaryngoscopy Picture of Foreign Body in the Larynx

A suspension microlaryngoscopy confirmed that this was a Prolene surgical suture.  When the suture was grasped with a foreign body forceps and pulled, it was evident that it was a loop that originated in the tracheotomy scar. Every time the string was pulled, it pulled the tracheostomy scar into the trachea.  Finally, the loop was cut with micro-laryngeal scissors and pulled out. The original surgeon must have placed this suture in a tracheotomy "trapdoor flap" to be used as a drawstring when changing tubes. Then this suture must have been completely pushed inside the tracheal lumen and never removed on decannulation.
Prolene suture with surgical knot, removed from the trachea and larynx.

Otolaryngology Houston

Bechara Y. Ghorayeb, MD
Memorial Hermann Professional Buildng
1140 Business Center Drive, Suite 560
Houston, Texas 77043
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