A laryngeal mask has an inflatable ring configured, upon inflation, to establish a peripheral seal around a patient's laryngeal inlet. Installation (insertion) is made in the fully deflated state, wherein the structural relation between the body of the mask and the inflatable ring is such that deflated ring surfaces become tightly opposed to each other so as to form a thin flange which peripherally surrounds the body of the mask and is concave on the posterior side of the mask; the concave flange effectively displaces all ring material away from the aperture of the mask, in the manner of the upturned brim of a hat. The concave flange is softly yieldable in its confinement by local body structures encountered in the course of mask insertion. And it is an important feature that the distal end of the deflated ring is adapted not only to smoothly ride posterior contours of the throat and pharynx but also to gently cam the epiglottis out of the path of insertial displacement of the mask while also assuring that the distal end of the deflated mask smoothly enters the upper sphinctral region of the oesophagus. Once thus insertionally located, ring inflation will assuredly establish the desired peripheral seal of the mask around the laryngeal inlet.
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