Tracheal diseases: endoscopic evaluation and treatment
Rigid bronchoscopy has historically been introduced more than 100 years ago and has successfully passed the test of time reaching present with renewed interest and usefulness. For long time it was mainly performed for therapeutic interventions of foreign bodies removal and dilation of stenosis. In the mid-1960s, the flexible bronchoscope appeared on the scene, bringing with its important changes: the audience of actors for bronchoscopic procedures expanded from surgeons to pneumologists too; the lower invasiveness of the procedure determined a clear reduction in the number of rigid bronchoscopies performed. A renewed interest in rigid bronchoscopy occurred around the mid-1980s: the need to provide the increasingly frequent diagnosis of lung cancer on the one hand, technological development and the subsequent advent of new endobronchial therapies on the other, have led to the genesis of a new specialty, interventional pneumology. Today, rigid bronchoscopy is used primarily as a means of access to central airways for the management of patients with difficult benign and malignant airway disorders. In this review we will analyse the different applications of rigid bronchoscopy in children, with a particular focus on interventional endoscopic procedures.