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Papers of the Week

2021 Dec 10

Surg Innov

Can Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia Techniques For Tracheostomy Be An Alternative To General Anesthesia?


Şahin A, Baran O, Gültekin A, Şahin G G, Ersözlü T, Arar C
Surg Innov. 2021 Dec 10:15533506211059910.
PMID: 34889150.


The cervical plexus block (CPB) has been used for a long time for both analgesia and anesthesia in carotid endarterectomy and thyroid operations. To be unfamiliar with the technique and its perceived difficulty, potential risks, and possible adverse effects such as intravascular injection has limited broader use before the practical use of ultrasound. We hypothesize that the cervical plexus block can provide adequate anesthesia in tracheostomy cases and provide excellent anesthesia comfort when combined with a translaryngeal block. This double-blinded, randomized 29 patients undergoing primary tracheostomy operation to receive either CPB (Group S) or CPB with translaryngeal block (Group ST). The primary outcome was cumulated analgesic consumption during the first 24 postoperative hours. Secondary outcomes were as follows: pain related to incision, patient tolerance as assessed by tracheostomy cannula comfort score, cough and gag, pain at rest, nausea and vomiting, and time to first analgesic demand. The patient tolerance for tracheostomy was higher in Group ST than Group S. The median tracheostomy cannula comfort score was 4.0 in Group S. In contrast, the median score was significantly lower in group ST (P<.001). The cough and gag reflex scores were significantly lower in Group ST than Group S (1.0 vs 4.0, P<.001). This trial supported the hypothesis that the CPB combined with the translaryngeal block yields excellent anesthesia for tracheostomies. The technique we briefly described, in a way, is the equivalent of awake fiberoptic intubation to awake tracheostomy with minimal sedation adjusted according to airway patency.