Extracorporeal support in airway surgery
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Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) is increasingly used for major airway surgery. It facilitates complex reconstructions and maintains gas exchange during endoscopic procedures in patients with critical airway obstruction. ECLS offers the advantage of an uncluttered surgical field and eliminates the need for crossing ventilation tubes, thus, making precise surgical dissection easier. ECLS is currently used for hemodynamic and respiratory support in lung transplantation as well as extended tumor resections with an acceptable risk profile. This work reviews the published experience of ECLS in airway surgery both in adults and in pediatric patients. It highlights currently available devices and their indications.