Risk Factors for Posttracheostomy Tracheal Stenosis

Michael Li, Yin Yiu, Tyler Merrill, Vedat Yildiz, Brad deSilva, Laura Matrka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the incidence of posttracheostomy tracheal stenosis and to investigate variables related to the patient, hospitalization, or operation that may affect stenosis rates. Study Design: A combined retrospective cohort and case-control study. Setting: Tertiary care academic medical center. Subjects and Methods: A total of 1656 patients who underwent tracheostomy at a tertiary care medical center from January 2011 to November 2016 were reviewed for evidence of subsequent tracheal stenosis on airway endoscopy or computed tomography. Forty-three confirmed cases of posttracheostomy tracheal stenosis (PTTS) were compared with a subgroup of 319 controls. Factors including medical comorbidity, type and setting of tracheostomy, and hospitalization details were analyzed. Results: Five-year incidence of PTTS was 2.6%. Obesity was the sole demographic factor associated with stenosis. Hospitalization-related variables associated with stenosis included tracheostomy after 10 days of orotracheal intubation and endotracheal tube cuff pressure ≥30 mm H2O. The surgical variables associated with higher rates of stenosis included percutaneous technique and insertion of an initial tracheostomy tube size >6. Bjork flap creation was negatively associated with stenosis. In multivariable analysis, obesity and insertion of tracheostomy tube size >6 were identified as risk factors. Conclusion: Greater than 10 days of orotracheal intubation prior to tracheostomy and endotracheal tube cuff pressure ≥30 mm H2O were associated with greater rates of subsequent tracheal stenosis. The only patient-related factor associated with tracheal stenosis was obesity. Surgical variables associated with increased rates of subsequent stenosis included placement of a tracheostomy tube size >6, use of percutaneous technique, and failure to create a Bjork flap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-704
Number of pages7
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • open tracheostomy
  • percutaneous tracheostomy
  • predictors of prolonged intubation
  • prolonged intubation
  • prolonged ventilation
  • risks of tracheostomy
  • subglottic stenosis
  • tracheal stenosis
  • tracheostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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