The difficult airway: Cardiopulmonary bypass - The ultimate solution

Michael J. Belmont, Mark K. Wax, Fructosa N. DeSouza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Background. Large, compressive thyroid masses are usually removed as an elective procedure. Rarely is a patient's condition allowed to progress to severe respiratory distress before surgical intervention is recommended. When allowed to progress, management of the airway can be problematic. Methods. A case report of a patient with a neglected thyroid lymphoma is presented. Results. The natural progression of the disease, leading to impending airway collapse, necessitated emergency management of the airway. Due to supraglottic edema and a large neck mass, traditional methods of securing the airway were not feasible. Initiation of femoral-femoral cardiopulmonary bypass, under local anesthesia, ensured adequate oxygenation and allowed a controlled tracheotomy to be performed. Conclusions. The result obtained suggests that this approach provides a safe solution for airway control when intubation or a surgically created airway is either unsuccessful or too hazardous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-269
Number of pages4
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Difficult airway
  • Lymphoma
  • Thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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