Cricotracheostomy is a useful surgical procedure for opening the airway in cases where conventional tracheotomy is difficult. This is a safe and easy technique involving removal of the anterior portion of the cricoid cartilage. Herein, we report the case of a patient with difficulty in neck extension due to severe kyphosis, who underwent cricotracheostomy. A 65-year-old woman developed dyspnea and was transported to our hospital. SpO2 was 60% (room air) and endotracheal intubation was performed. She was managed on ventilator. However, weaning off the ventilator was difficult, and endotracheal intubation was prolonged. Subsequently, the patient was referred to us for a tracheostomy. The patient was unable to maintain the supine position due to severe kyphosis, and computed tomography revealed that the brachiocephalic artery was running just below the thyroid gland. Therefore, conventional tracheostomy was difficult to perform, and we performed cricotracheostomy instead. After the cricotracheostomy, there were no tracheal problems, such as tracheal stenosis and stomal hemorrhage. Cricotracheostomy can be performed in cases where multiple anatomical difficulties may be faced in the tracheostomy site, as in this case. Furthermore, cricotracheostomy is beneficial for long-term airway management because it causes fewer complications compared to conventional tracheotomy.
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