Purpose: Percutaneous tracheostomy (PT) has gained worldwide acceptance as a bedside procedure by intensivists, but its popularity has declined based on reports of some relative contraindications. The aim of this study was to ascertain the perioperative comorbidities of PT when it is performed by surgeons with experience performing standard tracheostomy. Methods: Prospective data were collected and analyzed for consecutive PTs performed in intensive care units. Results: No procedure-related mortality occurred in the present study. No significant differences in perioperative comorbidities, such as transient hemodynamic instability and postoperative wound infection, were noted between the relative contraindication (RC) and normal condition (NC) groups. Otherwise, instrument failure (5 cases, p = 0.052) and procedure failure (2 cases, p = 0.222) occurred in the RC group, but not in the NC group. Two patients in the NC group and one patient in the RC group needed to undergo a reoperation to check for bleeding. In a subgroup analysis, more bleeding events were noted for the patients with coagulopathy (p = 0.057), and premature extubation of the endotracheal tube/instrument failure (p = 0.073) was more common in the patients with neck anatomical difficulty in the RC group. Conclusions: For patients with relative contraindications, the potential of using PT should be determined on an individual basis. Special attention should be paid to the possibility of instrument failure and bleeding events for the patients with relative contraindications for PT.
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