Tracheotomy revisited: results of a cross-sectional pilot study

Mir Sajad Qadri, Omar Mohammed Shafi


Background: Tracheotomy is one of the oldest surgeries performed to bypass the obstructed airway to save life in emergency. The aim of present study was to assess the status of this traditional surgery in present clinical settings of technical advancement with special reference to the controversial issue like, is horizontal incision a better choice over the traditional vertical incision?

Methods: Retrospective study of 67 cases of surgical tracheotomy done from April 2017 to March 2018 and photographic assessment of the scar site in the patients who had undergone tracheotomy in the past at least more than a year before the commencement of the study period i.e. before 2015.  

Results: Prolonged ventilator support is the commonest indication for surgical tracheotomy comprising more than 55% of cases in present study followed by traumatic obstruction (19%) and neoplastic obstruction (18%) of upper airway. Although horizontal skin incision is increasingly being used but vertical incision remains incision of choice in emergency settings.

Conclusions: The inflammatory conditions are no longer prime indicators for surgical tracheotomy. Horizontal skin incision has no significant advantage over vertical incision, which is still preferred in emergency settings.



Tracheotomy, Tracheostomy, Technique, Incision, Scar

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