OBJECTIVE: To describe a novel surgical technique for correcting postoperative ventral glottic stenosis (cicatrix or web formation) and the outcome in 2 Thoroughbred racehorses.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective case report.
ANIMALS: Thoroughbreds diagnosed with ventral glottic stenosis (n=2).
METHODS: Horses presenting with iatrogenic ventral glottic stenosis and resultant exercise intolerance and abnormal exercise-related noise were anesthetized and a midline sagittal skin incision was made over the ventral larynx and between the sternohyoideus muscles overlying the cricothyroid notch. The cricothyroid ligament, attached laryngeal cicatrix, and overlying mucosa were sagittally sectioned at the dorsal aspect of the cicatrix on the left side. The laryngeal mucosa, cicatrix, and underlying cricothyroid ligament immediately rostral and caudal to the cicatrix were sectioned in a medial (axial) direction as far as the right side of the cricothyroid notch. After resection of the majority of the attached cicatrix tissue, the residual mucosal flap (attached to the right side of the larynx) was reflected ventrally and sutured to the attachment of the cricothyroid ligament on the right side of the cricothyroid notch, creating an intact mucosal layer on the right side of the ventral larynx.
RESULTS: Both horses had good intralaryngeal wound healing with minimal redevelopment of ventral glottic stenosis at 5 and 9 months postoperatively and were successfully returned to racing with complete absence of abnormal respiratory noise.
CONCLUSION: The unique laryngeal anatomy of horses, with a cartilage-free ventral laryngeal area (cricothyroid notch), allowed the use of this novel surgical technique to successfully treat ventral glottic stenosis.