TABLE 3

Internal airway stents commonly used in children

Stent typeCharacteristicsAdvantagesDisadvantagesTypical indications
Silicone (Dumon)SemirigidEasier to removeProne to migration and/or blockageShort duration use; palliative care
Silicone (Polyflex) self-expandingFlexibleRelatively easier to removeLarge delivery device; difficult to insert; prone to migrationRarely used
Metal balloon-expandableRigidEasy to insert; can be dilated with growth; much less prone to migrationDifficult to remove; prone to granulation; may cause vascular erosionMalacia secondary to tracheal surgery; isolated segment of malacia
Metal self-expandingFlexibleEasy to insert; may be safer if vascular compression is presentVery difficult to remove; cannot be dilated with growthIn nearly fully grown child; vascular compression
Bioabsorbable self-expandingWill reabsorb over 3–4 monthsCan be custom-made for individual child; offers a temporary treatment optionMay require serial stenting; expensive“Proof of principle” before more definitive treatment; short-term support following tracheal surgery