Tracheostomy after cardiac surgery: Timing of tracheostomy as a risk factor for mortality

Ronny Ben-Avi, Alon Ben-Nun, Shany Levin, David Simansky, Nonna Zeitlin, Leonid Sternik, Ehud Raanani, Alexander Kogan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives The optimal timing for tracheostomy after cardiac surgery in patients undergoing prolonged ventilation is controversial. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of tracheostomy timing on short- and long-term mortality of these patients. Design Retrospective study of prospectively collected data. Setting Cardiac surgical intensive care unit (ICU) in a tertiary-care, university-affiliated hospital. Participants All patients undergoing tracheostomy after cardiac surgery between September 2004 and March 2013 were included. Interventions The authors compared the outcome in 2 groups of patients according to the timing of tracheostomy: Group I, early-intermediate tracheostomy (0-14 days) and Group II, late tracheostomy (≥15 days). Measurements and Main Results During the study period, 6,069 patients underwent cardiac surgery; among them, 199 patients (3.26%) received a tracheostomy. There were 90 patients in Group I and 109 patients in Group II. There was no significant difference in the severity of the patients' illness between the groups. The mortality rate at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years was 37%, 48%, 56%, and 58% in Group I, respectively, and 58%, 70%, 74%, and 77% in Group II, respectively (p< 0.01). Conclusions Early-intermediate (0-14 days) tracheostomy after cardiac surgery in patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation was associated with reduced mortality compared with late tracheostomy (≥15 days).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-496
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • cardiac surgery
  • intensive care unit
  • mortality
  • prolonged ventilation
  • tracheostomy


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