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Authors Britt CJ, Rohrbach MR, McCulloch TM
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Journal Head Neck Volume: 38 Issue: 6 Pages: E2446-E2448
Publish Date 2016 Jun
PubMed ID 26970139

When a patient cannot be intubated or ventilated, cricothyrotomy is indicated. Risks associated with emergent cricothyrotomy are significant, and this procedure typically requires revision. Additional options for establishing an emergent airway are limited. Thus, elective tracheotomy to ensure a safe airway after procedures involving the upper aerodigestive tract is common. Although safe and effective overall, this procedure is not without additional risks, added resources, complex cares, and extended hospitalizations.We present a case in which exposure of the anterior trachea was performed without tracheotomy in a patient with a high-risk airway undergoing an open partial laryngectomy.The patient did not develop respiratory distress postoperatively and was able to avoid a tracheostomy and its associated cares.Pretracheotomy with tracheal exposure simplifies emergent surgical access to the airway. We believe tracheal exposure in the appropriately selected patient is a safe and cost-effective alternative to elective tracheotomy. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: E2446-E2448, 2016. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System