Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Thorac Surg. 1985 Apr;39(4):353-4.

Cricothyroidotomy for prolonged ventilatory support after cardiac operations.


Forty-nine patients required prolonged ventilatory support after cardiac operations. Cricothyroidotomy was used routinely in these patients after approximately 7 days of endotracheal intubation. There were no infections of the median sternotomy wounds despite frequent colonization of the stoma. The only immediate complication was mild stomal bleeding in a patient taking anticoagulants. Nineteen patients (39%) died of underlying disease. The average duration of cricothyroidotomy was 59 days (range, 3 to 270 days). Cannulas were successfully removed in all survivors after an average of 38 days (range, 6 to 187 days). All of the patients were followed by personal interview, telephone contact, or contact with the referring physician. The average length of follow-up was 17 months (range, 2 to 50 months). All symptomatic patients were evaluated by laryngoscopy and bronchoscopy. One patient required endoscopic removal of granulation tissue from the stomal site; 2 others required tracheal resection for stenosis at the balloon site. There were no instances of subglottic stenosis. There were 4 late deaths, none of which was related to the cricothyroidotomy. Based on these findings, we suggest that cricothyroidotomy, with its low complication rate, is the procedure of choice for patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation after cardiac operations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center