A Cohort Study of the Surgical Risks and Prediction of Complications in Surgical Tracheostomies

Yotam Ben-Ishay, Ron Eliashar, Jeffrey M. Weinberger, Sagit Stern Shavit, Nir Hirshoren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Current protocols favor percutaneous tracheostomies over open procedures. We analyzed the effects of this conversion from the open approach to the percutaneous procedure in terms of relevant clinical status, complications, and mortality in surgical open tracheostomies. Relevant laboratory and clinical parameters, potentially associated with complications, were also examined. Main outcome measures: Comparison of clinical, laboratory data and outcome of surgical tracheostomy during the two eras. Investigate potential pertinent predictive parameters associated with complications. Methods: A single center retrospective case series of consecutive patients who underwent surgical tracheostomy between the years 2006–2009 (“early era”) and 2016–2020 ("late era"). Results: The study included 304 patients, 160 in the "early" and 144 in the "late" era. Despite a 78% increase in patient volume in the intensive care units, there was a 55% decrease in surgical tracheostomy during the “late era”. Significantly more patients with structural deformities (p < 0.001), insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (p = 0.004), extreme (high and low) body weight (p = 0.006), anemia (p < 0.001) and coagulation disorders (p < 0.001), were referred for an open tracheostomy during the "late era". The complication rate was significantly higher during the "late era" (11.7 vs. 2.5%, OR 6.09 CI 95% [1.91–19.39], p = 0.001). Diabetes mellitus (p = 0.005), anemia (p = 0.033), malnutrition (p = 0.017), thrombocytopenia (p = 0.002) and poor renal function, (p = 0.008), were all significantly associated with higher complication rates. Conclusions: Risk assessment and training programs must reflect the decrease in surgical volume of open tracheostomies and consequently reduced experience. The increase of a patient subset characterized by pertinent comorbidities should reflect this change.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2659-2665
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s) under exclusive licence to Société Internationale de Chirurgie.


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