Facial fractures and submental tracheal intubation

Anaesthesia. 2002 Dec;57(12):1195-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2044.2002.02624_1.x.


Submental tracheal intubation is a simple, quick and effective alternative to oral and nasal tracheal intubation or tracheostomy in the surgical management of selected patients with craniomaxillofacial injuries. It has a low morbidity and it does not impede the surgical field, allowing for temporary maxillo-mandibular fixation (jaw wiring) intra-operatively, and nasal assessment, manipulation and bone grafting, either simultaneously or as an independent procedure. We report 12 cases utilizing this technique in this retrospective study, this includes 11 patients with mid-facial fractures and associated base of skull fractures, and one patient who underwent an elective Le Fort III advancement. The techniques and indications for submental tracheal intubation are described.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Chin / surgery
  • Facial Bones / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skull Fractures / surgery*