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The role of rigid bronchoscopy in complex airway disorders

  • Alessandro Bandiera1
  • Paola Ciriaco1
  • Angelo Carretta1
  • Giampiero Negri1

1Department of Thoracic Surgery, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2021.017 Vol.17,Issue 2,March 2021 pp.39-47

Published: 08 March 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Alessandro Bandiera E-mail:


Rigid bronchoscopy is a diagnostic and therapeutic tool used to treat complex airways disorders. It plays a central role in the management of central airway obstruction caused by benign or malignant diseases; and requires close cooperation between the bronchoscopist and the anesthesiologist as they share the same operative field. Rigid bronchoscopy requires deep sedation or general anesthesia, intubation with the rigid bronchoscope and adequate oxygenation and ventilation during the procedure. The choice of ventilation techniques include apneic oxygenation, spontaneous assisted ventilation, controlled ventilation and jet ventilation. Rigid bronchoscopy is used to relieve respiratory symptoms due to airway obstruction by dilation for a tracheal stenosis or the mechanical debulking of endoluminal tumours, and supporting the airway by the placement of an endoluminal stent. Two types of stents are currently in use: silicone stents and metal stents with different lengths, diameters and shape configurations. They can significantly improve patients symptoms and their quality of life. Therapeutic rigid bronchoscopy, performed in appropriately selected patients and by skilled operators is effective and has a low morbidity rate.


Rigid bronchoscopy; Central airway obstruction; Airway stenting; Ventilation techniques

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Alessandro Bandiera,Paola Ciriaco,Angelo Carretta,Giampiero Negri. The role of rigid bronchoscopy in complex airway disorders. Signa Vitae. 2021. 17(2);39-47.


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