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Progressive dilatation of airway stenosis can be achieved with bronchoscopes of growing diameter. This method can be quite effective when the airway stenosis is due to extrinsic compression or loss of cartilaginous support.
Tube orientation is simple in the trachea and slightly harder in the main stem bronchi, particularly the left main stem.

Positioning of the head is very important when dilating the left main stem in order to maintain the airway axis. Otherwise, mediastinal perforation can ensue.

We believe balloon dilatation of the airways is ineffective and dangerous. The absence of tactile feedback coupled with the fact that the inflated balloon obscures the airway, makes it difficult to judge how much pressure is placed on the airway wall.