Tracheobronchomalacia (TBM) is a disease of excessive collapse of the primary airways resulting from intrinsic weakness or extrinsic compression. While infantile TBM typically regresses in severity over time, adult-phenotype TBM is more often persistent and progressive. Severe TBM carries substantial morbidity and mortality, and interventions such as surgical excision, stenting, and tracheotomy have all been associated with life-threatening complications.
Our group has previously had success treating infantile TBM using a bioresorbable, 3D-printed external splint. This device generally has limitations in its application to acquired disease because of its temporary design. However, we describe a patient-specific, 3D-printed external tracheal splint for treatment of TBM, with modifications to device design and biomaterial selection yielding a biopermanent option for patients with adult-phenotype TBM.