The complication rate after emergency tracheostomy is two to five times greater than after elective procedures. One of the main causes of the high risk of complications in emergency tracheostomy appears to be the amount of time required to open the trachea. Therefore, simple and fast procedures are mandatory. We have developed a new procedure as follows: A horizontal skin incision is performed. Strap muscles are dissected and retracted laterally. A transverse cut between tracheal rings below the thyroid isthmus is performed up to membranous portion of the trachea. The cut ends of the trachea remain open naturally because of the elasticity of the trachea. Skin and tracheal cut-ends are then joined by interrupted sutures.
We have used this procedure during the past three years and have not experienced any major complications. This demonstrates the clear advantage and the more physiological nature of the procedure over various other incisions of the tracheal wall.