Objectives: The starplasty tracheostomy (SPT) technique has been suggested to reduce the short-term complications of tracheostomy, including accidental decannulation and pneumothorax. The aim of the present study was to conduct a review of key parameters prior to and following treatment of neonates and children with the SPT technique, including indications, complications, perioperative department stay, and overall length of stay in one University-Affiliated Medical Center. Methods: A retrospective chart review of all children under the age of 18 underwent SPT in a single center between February 2006 and January 2012. Results: Among the 39 patients reviewed, the median age at the time of surgery was 14.5 months, ranging from 3 days to 8.8 years. The most common indication for SPT was respiratory insufficiency resulting from central nervous system disorders (15, 38.4%) followed by neuromuscular disorders (14, 35.9%). Ten (25.6%) operations were performed on neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients and 29 (74.4%) on pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients. The median postoperative hospital stay was 19.5 days (range of 3–207 days); however, the median postoperative stay in the PICU was 13.5 days. There were no decannulations or any other short-term complications after SPT, and no SPT-related deaths occurred. Conclusions: In our series, pediatric SPT was not associated with any major complications. Therefore, we conclude that SPT should be considered as a safe and advantageous alternative for traditional tracheotomy, especially in patients with low probability of future decannulation, and, therefore, at low risk of a persistent tracheocutaneous fistula.
- Intensive care unit
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