BACKGROUND: Videolaryngoscopy is commonly used by anesthesiologists to manage difficult airways. Recently otolaryngologists have reported use in select procedures; to date there is limited evaluation in head and neck surgery.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients who underwent direct laryngoscopy (DL) with use of GlideScope videolaryngoscopy (GVL) were retrospectively identified from a tertiary care Veterans Affairs hospital. GVL was used to assist or replace traditional laryngoscopes for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
RESULTS: Nineteen patients (48-83 years old) underwent 21 procedures. Difficult endotracheal intubation was reported in 53% of patients. GVL replaced traditional DL in 76% of cases, assisted evaluation prior to traditional DL in 10%, and rescued failed traditional DL in 14%. No complications occurred. Three indications for GVL were identified.
DISCUSSION: GVL was safe in our experience and provides unique benefits in selected scenarios in head and neck surgery. Otolaryngologists can consider videolaryngoscopy as a complement to traditional DL.
Keywords: Airway management Laryngoscopy Oropharyngeal neoplasms Otolaryngology Surgical oncology