Manipal Journal of Medical Sciences


Conventionally, tracheostomy includes surgical creation of tracheo-cutaneous communication. It is done either to bypass the upper airway obstruction or to facilitate optimal mechanical ventilation and early weaning off the ventilator support in neurologically unstable patients. For many years now, percutaneous tracheostomy has been proposed as an alternative to open surgical tracheostomy in ventilator-dependent patients. This review briefly narrates the principles and procedure of percutaneous tracheostomy. In addition, the article sheds light on a few critical problems that one could encounter during the process and discusses countermeasures to overcome those difficulties. Finally, the role of intra-procedure bronchoscopy or ultrasonography and of a multidisciplinary team in the safe execution of percutaneous tracheostomy has also been addressed in this review.