Frequently Asked Questions
What is Cricothyrotomy?
Cricothyrotomy is an emergency surgical procedure done in case of airway obstruction. Here an incision is made on the neck of the patient, on the cricothyroid membrane into the windpipe, for creating an airway, by inserting a small pipe into the hole created. Cricothyrotomy is also known as Cric, Thyrocricotomy, Cricothyroidotomy, Inferior Laryngotomy, Coniotomy, Inter Cricothyrotomy, Emergency airway puncture.
There 3 types of Cricothyrotomy:
- Surgical Cricothyrotomy
- Percutaneous Cricothyrotomy
- Needle Cricothyrotomy
What are the advantages of Cricothyrotomy?
Advantages of Cricothyrotomy are as follows:
- Less incision pain or airway trauma
- The surgical tube is more easily installed, hence longer ventilation
- Surgical Cricothyrotomy also allows suctioning of the airways aswell
What are the indications of Cricothyrotomy?
Cricothyrotomy is indicated in few of the following condition:
- Trauma to face, mouth, and jaws
- Trauma to the cervical spine
- Oral hemorrhage
- Copious emesis (Sight or smell of food-induced vomiting)
- Anatomic abnormalities
- Oropharyngeal edema
Who are the best surgeons/doctors to perform Cricothyrotomy?
A certified and trained General surgeon/physician or a Respiratory Therapist who is well experienced in Cricothyrotomy can perform this surgery/procedure.
Is Cricothyrotomy a major surgery or minor surgery?
Cricothyrotomy is considered a minor surgical procedure as it is not permanent and recovery time is also less.
What are the risks and complications associated with Cricothyrotomy?
Following are a few risks and complications of Cricothyrotomy:
- Damage to the thyroid gland, tracheal cartilage
- Leakage from trachea
- Formation of false tract
How long does it take to complete Cricothyrotomy?
The duration of the surgery varies depending on the type of Cricothyrotomy performed. Generally, Cricothyrotomy takes around 30-90 minutes to complete.
What is the recovery time for Cricothyrotomy?
Recovery time for Cricothyrotomy is usually 48 hours.
What is the success rate of Cricothyrotomy?
The success rate of Cricithyrotomy depends on the following factors:
- Age of the patient
- The medical condition of the patient
- Experience of the surgeon/doctor
- Type of procedure performed
However, the success rate of Surgical Cricothyrotomy is 90-95% and for Percutaneous Cricothyrotomy is 50-60%.
Is Cricothyrotomy permanent?
Cricothyrotomy is not a permanent procedure as the cricothyrotomy tube can be removed after normal breathing is attained.
What are the long-term results of Cricothyrotomy?
Few long-term results of Cricothyrotomy are:
- A part of the windpipe is narrowed (Subglottis Stenosis)
- Changes in voice
Can Cricothyrotomy be detected in the future?
Cricothyrotomy can be detected in the future as the scar of the incision will be present.
What are the options if Cricothyrotomy fails?
If Cricothyrotomy fails, then the doctor may recommend revision surgery.
What are the alternatives for Cricothyrotomy?
The following is the alternative for Cricothyrotomy is Tracheotomy or Tracheostomy.