Percutaneous dilational tracheostomy in children and teenagers

Boulos Toursarkissian, Carol L. Fowler, Thomas N. Zweng, Paul A. Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Percutaneous dilational tracheostomy (PDT) is a new technique that has been successfully performed in adult patients who required long-term mechanical ventilation, but it has not been used in children. The authors report their initial experience with PDT in 11 children and teenagers. The procedure is as follows. Using Seldinger's technique, the trachea is cannulated with a guide-wire. It is then progressively dilated, to an appropriately sized tract, with dilators from a commercially available kit. Then, a tracheostomy tube can be inserted into the trachea, loaded over a dilator. Eleven children, aged 10 to 20 years, underwent PDT in an average of 20 minutes. In eight cases, PDT was performed at the bedside. One intraoperative and one postoperative complication developed in the same patient; both complications were easily recognized and treated. Tracheal stenosis has not developed in eight decannulated patients at an average of 43 ± 30 weeks after decannulation. PDT appears to be a safe, potentially cost-effective alternative to open tracheostomy in young patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1424
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Tracheostomy
  • children
  • percutaneous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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