Review Article

Percutaneous tracheostomy: a comprehensive review

Ashraf O. Rashid, Shaheen Islam


Tracheostomy is a common procedure. It can be done surgically or percutaneously by dilating the stoma using Seldinger technique. Percutaneous tracheostomy (PT) is now routinely performed by surgeons and non-surgeons such as intensivists and anesthesiologists in the intensive care units (ICU) all over the world. Although obesity, emergent tracheostomy, coagulopathy, inability to extend the neck and high ventilator demand (HVD) were initially thought to be a relative contraindication, recent data suggest safety of PT in these patient population. Ultrasound can be helpful in limited cases to identify the neck structure especially in patients with a difficult anatomy. Bronchoscopy during PT can shorten the duration and avoid complications. PT has favorable complication rate, lower infection rate, shorter procedural duration and is cost-effective. Experience with the technique and careful planning is needed to minimize any avoidable potential complication.

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