Tracheostomy Tube Placement: Early and Late Complications

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Tracheostomy tube placement is a therapeutic procedure that has gained increased favor over the past decade. Upper airway obstructions, failure to liberate from the ventilator, and debilitating neurological conditions are only a few indications for tracheostomy tube placement. Tracheostomy tubes can be placed either surgically or percutaneously. A percutaneous approach offers fewer surgical site infections and postsurgical bleeding than a surgical approach. A surgical placement posses a lower risk of injury to the posterior tracheal wall and spontaneous decannulation is less common. Late complications of both approaches include stenosis, malacia, along with tracheoesophageal, tracheoinnominate, and tracheocutaneous fistulas. This review describes the indications and methods of placement of tracheostomy tubes along with early and late complications that may occur following placement.

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