Anatomy of a Tracheostomy

Anatomy for a Tracheostomy

A tracheostomy insertion occurs between the 2nd and 3rd tracheal ring in the midline. In order to correctly site a tracheostomy, the cricoid cartilage and sternal notch need to be identified.

Extension of the neck helps increase the space between these two structures. A horizontal incision is made at the midpoint of the sternal notch to the lower border of the cricoid cartilage. The isthmus of the thyroid gland may lie across the trachea and may be divided as part of the procedure. The dissection is continued until the second and third tracheal rings are identified.

A window is then made into the trachea and a tracheostomy tube is inserted.

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