Surgical or conservative management of post intubation tracheal injury: when and how?

Sara Mantovani, Camilla Poggi, Massimiliano Bassi, Sara Cagnetti, Marco Anile, Federico Venuta


Iatrogenic tracheal or tracheobronchial injuries occur after intubation, percutaneous tracheostomy or rigid bronchoscopy. The incidence is relatively rare; however, this complication can potentially be life-threating. We report 13 patients with an iatrogenic tracheal laceration treated between 2011 and 2019 and a literature review to assess the different treatment options. On the base of our experience and the review of the literature surgical treatment remains the gold standard; conservative management is safe in clinically stable patients without complications like pneumomediastinum, mediastinitis or oesophageal laceration.