Prevention of cuff injury of the intubation tube by blunt window opening in tracheostomy

Glob Health Med. 2023 Dec 31;5(6):381-384. doi: 10.35772/ghm.2023.01003.

Abstract

One of the intraoperative complications of tracheostomy under general anesthesia is cuff injury of the intubation tube. In the present study, we investigated whether a blunt tracheal opening is a useful method to avoid cuff injury. A retrospective cohort study was conducted to examine patients who underwent tracheostomy under general anesthesia at a single institution from January 1, 2017 to July 31, 2021. Electrocautery was used to thin the connective tissue between the tracheal rings, and bluntly open the trachea with mosquito forceps or similar instruments. Primary outcomes included cuff injury rate, number of surgeons involved, and career as otolaryngologist at the time of surgery. The secondary outcome was perioperative complications. Of the 64 cases, 3 had cuff injuries. 2 of the 3 had cuff injuries during the creation of an anteriorly based flap. 16 surgeons were involved ranging from the first to sixth year as an otolaryngologist, with the third year of otolaryngologist being the most common. The median physician year for instructors was 18 years. The most common postoperative complication was granulation in 9 cases. There were no cases of incorrect cannula insertion or difficulty in cannula insertion. A blunt tracheal opening was considered useful as a method to prevent cuff injury.

Keywords: aerosol's generation; blunt window opening; cuff injury; tracheostomy.