Background and objective: Tracheostomy is one of the most common procedures in intensive care units worldwide. In this study we aimed to compare three different tracheostomy techniques with respect to duration of procedure and complications.
Methods: One hundred and thirty patients requiring endotracheal intubation for more than 10 days due to acute respiratory distress syndrome, infections or cerebrovascular events were consecutively selected to undergo the percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy technique (PDT n = 44), the guide-wire dilating forceps technique group (GWDF n = 41) or the PercuTwist technique (n = 45). The time taken to perform the procedure (skin incision to successful placement of tracheostomy tube) and complications were recorded.
Results: The operating times were found to be 9.9 +/- 1.1, 6.2 +/-1.4 and 5.4 +/- 1.2 min in PDT, GWDF and PercuTwist groups, respectively. The duration of the procedure was significantly shorter in the PercuTwist group as compared to the percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy (P < 0.01) and guide-wire dilating forceps (P < 0.05) groups. During postoperative bronchoscopy, eight cases of longitudinal tracheal abrasion (four in the PDT group, two in the GWDF group and two in the PercuTwist group), two cases of posterior tracheal wall injury (one in PDT and one in GWDF) and one case of tracheal ring rupture in the PDT group were seen.
Conclusions: Percutaneous tracheostomy techniques have their own advantages and complications. PercuTwist, a new controlled rotating dilatation method, was associated with minimal complications, appears to be easy to perform and a practical alternative to percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy and guide-wire dilating forceps techniques.