Role of cricothyroid cannulation in head and neck surgery

J. C. Ryan, B. McGuire

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives: This paper outlines our use of cricothyroid cannulation in those patients undergoing head and neck surgery in whom a 'difficult airway' is anticipated. Audit results are presented. Materials and methods: Prospective data collection for all patients undergoing cricothyroid cannulation for management of head and neck neoplasms, over a two-year period. Results: Thirty-nine cricothyroid cannulae were sited in 32 patients. All patients with laryngeal tumours underwent the procedure while awake, prior to the anticipated difficult intubation, and the cannulae were removed within six hours. Most cannulations performed under general anaesthetic were for anticipated 'dangerous extubations' in patients with oral cavity tumours, and these cannulae remained in place for 24 hours. Tracheostomy was possibly avoided in six patients. No complications were identified. Conclusion: Cricothyroid cannulation can be a simple, safe, reliable technique which is a useful adjunct in the management of patients with a potentially difficult airway. © 2008 JLO (1984) Limited.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1096-1099
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Laryngology and Otology
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


    • Airway Obstruction
    • Humans
    • Intubation, Intratracheal
    • Laryngeal Neoplasms
    • Perioperative Care
    • Tracheostomy


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