LMA Unique®

Mae Yap; Claas Siegmueller



The LMA Unique® is the disposable single-use version of the LMA Classic®, which can be autoclaved and re-used. Therefore this device is a first generation SGA. Another version of the LMA Unique® is the LMA Unique® (Silicone Cuff) which, as the name suggests, has a silicone cuff (instead of the PVC one for the standard LMA Unique® model) and also a manometer integrated into the pilot balloon to measure cuff inflation pressure.

It comes in six sizes (1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5). The LMA Unique® silicone cuff version is also available in a size 6. Sizing recommendations are based on patient weight and a suitable weight range is printed on the device.

PERSONAL OPINION: I usually choose a size 5 LMA (Unique®) for most male and a size 4 LMA (Unique®) for most female adults, unless they are particularly small. Looking at the overall 'size' and 'shape' of the patient is more helpful than religiously following the weight guidance provided by the manufacturer.


The LMA Unique® is made of PVC and intended for single use. It consists of a mask part with an inflatable cuff, and a tube part. The cuff can be inflated from a valve/ pilot ballon. Printed onto the tube part are, among other things, the size, the maximum allowable cuff inflation volume, and the recommended weight range. Within the mask, the distal tube opening has two aperture bars, with are designed to prevent the epiglottis occluding the tube by 'falling' into it.

Close-up of the tube part of the LMA Unique® with size #, maximum cuff inflation volume, and suggested patient weight range
Aperture bars on the LMA Unique®


CAUTION: The tube of the LMA Unique has the maximum cuff inflation volume printed on it. This is not a recommended standard inflation volume!


LMA Unique® cuff with varyingous degrees of inflation


Insertion is arguably easiest with the degree of cuff inflation present when the LMA Unique® comes out of the packaging (so no additional inflation or deflation is needed after removing the red plastic cover for the cuff valve). Deflating the cuff before insertion creates fairly stiff ridges which can cause trauma, while overinflating increases the cuff footprint and makes the cuff fairly stiff (obviously), again increasing the risk of traumatic insertion.


Uses are discussed in the overview pages on 'supraglottic airways (SGAs)' and 'SGA placement'.

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