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To compare the outcomes of two types of tracheostomy tubes used in major head and neck surgery.
A retrospective study was conducted of prospectively collected data. The post-operative safety and adequacy of a single cannula tracheostomy tube was compared to a double cannula tracheostomy tube in patients undergoing tracheostomy during major oral and oropharyngeal resections.
Out of 46 patients with the single cannula tube, 7 (15 per cent) experienced significant obstruction warranting immediate tube removal, while another 9 (20 per cent) needed a change of tube or tube re-insertion for continued airway protection. In contrast, out of 50 patients with the double cannula tube, the corresponding numbers were 0 (p = 0.004) and 1 (2 per cent; p = 0.007) respectively.
Insertion of a double cannula (instead of a single cannula) tracheostomy tube in the course of major oral and oropharyngeal resections offers better airway protection during the post-operative period.
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