Tracheocutaneous fistula (TCF) is a common complication that occurs after decannulation of a long-term tracheostomy. Numerous studies have demonstrated the incidence of TCF formation to positively correlate with an increasing duration of cannulation, specifically in children. Treatment of a persistent TCF in a child has been well described in the literature, with good response to local measures such as curettage and silver nitrate. When this fails, fistulectomy followed by primary closure of the skin or secondary intention yields good results. However, there is a lack of knowledge on TCF formation in pediatric burn-injured patients, where a persistent TCF is a particularly challenging problem to correct given the paucity of supple tissue in the neck and potential for contractures after a large burn injury; effectively making the surgical repairs and management algorithms described in the available literature largely not applicable to this patient population. In this manuscript, we describe a series of pediatric burn patients with persistent TCF, successfully treated with a multilayered closure involving local tissue rearrangement in the form of medial mobilization of the strap muscles of the neck.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine