Lingual tonsillar hypertrophy, an unknown enemy: a case report
We report an unexpected difficult airway in a patient with unrecognized lingual tonsillar hypertrophy. A 54-year-old hypertensive woman presented for resection of a mediastinal mass under general anesthesia (GA). After induction, mask ventilation was impossible. Laryngeal mask airway (LMA) was used, achieving suboptimal ventilation. Fiberoptic intubation through LMA was attempted but tube advancement was hindered by a protrudingmass. Finally, intubation was achieved using the Frova introducer. After completion of the surgery, the patient was transferred, intubated, to the postanesthesia care unit. Ear, nose, and throat assessment concluded that the mass was a hyper-trophied lingual tonsil. Unexpected lingual tonsillar hypertrophy can complicate GA, making mask ventilation, and even intubation impossible. It is considered a frequent cause of unexpected difficult airway. Diagnosis cannot be made by standard airway physical examination. Once recognized, fiberoptic intubation is mandatory in subsequent surgeries.
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