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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 38-42

Airway management with submental orotracheal intubation in maxillofacial surgery: Our experience and literature review

Department of Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Adebayo Aremu Ibikunle
Department of Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, PMB 12003, Sokoto
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1595-1103.194218

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Background and Aim: The challenge of the “shared airway” is a recurring predicament in maxillofacial surgeries. The need to have unfettered access to the nasal pyramid and oral cavity without jeopardizing the integrity of the airway during maxillofacial surgeries is vital. The use of submental intubation has been reported as an excellent adjunct in maxillofacial trauma surgery; however, few, if any, report exists on its use for massive facial tumors. This is a report of its use in varied scenarios including traumatic and neoplastic conditions. The aim of this study was to review the indications, complications, and outcomes of airway management using submental intubation in maxillofacial surgery at a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. Patients and Methods: Records were retrieved retrospectively over a period of 28 months (June 2013–October 2015). Data recorded included demographics, indications, and intraoperative and postoperative complications. Results: A total of eight patients were evaluated, all of whom had surgery under general anesthesia. All of them had conventional orotracheal intubation initially, which was then converted into the submental route. Two of them had intraoperative complications of raised airway pressure, however no postoperative complication was observed. Conclusions: Although it requires some surgical skill, submental intubation provides a reasonable substitute to other airway management techniques in certain patients. Its importance in patients with massive maxillofacial tumors was also highlighted along with other indications.

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