Life-threatening macroglossia after posterior fossa surgery: a surgical positioning problem?
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Acta oto-rhino-laryngologica Belgica. - Brussel
, p. 309-313
University of Antwerp
Life-threatening macroglossia after posterior fossa surgery: a surgical positioning problem? A 55-year-old woman was operated in the lateral park bench position with significant neck flexion and oral packing. Macroglossia was noticed immediately postoperatively after endotracheal extubation. The patient was reintubated for 13 days and subsequently required a tracheostoma. After the placement of the tracheostoma and the removal of the endotracheal tube, the congestion of the tongue decreased markedly within 24 hours. Macroglossia is a rare complication following posterior fossa procedures with few cases reported so far. It can cause airway obstruction, which could be a life-threatening complication, and it therefore requires prompt treatment. The aetiology of postoperative macroglossia remains uncertain and has been attributed to arterial, venous and lymphatic compression, mechanical compression, or neurogenic causes. This article describes new insights into aetiology and also describes preventive measures and possible treatment.