Submental intubation: alternative short-term airway management in maxillofacial trauma

  • Kumar, Ravi Raja (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, St. Joseph Dental College) ;
  • Vyloppilli, Suresh (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Medical College) ;
  • Sayd, Shermil (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, KMCT Dental College and Hospitals) ;
  • Thangavelu, Annamala (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Rajah Muthiah Dental College & Hospital) ;
  • Joseph, Benny (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, KMCT Dental College and Hospitals) ;
  • Ahsan, Auswaf (Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, KMCT Dental College and Hospitals)
  • Received : 2015.12.16
  • Accepted : 2016.03.06
  • Published : 2016.06.30


Objectives: To assess submental route intubation as an alternative technique to a tracheostomy in the management of the airway in cranio-maxillofacial trauma, along with an assessment of its morbidity and complications. Materials and Methods: Submental intubation was performed in 17 patients who had maxillofacial panfacial trauma and management was done under general anesthesia during a period of one year from 2013 to 2014 at Departments of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church Medical College, Kochi, India. Results: In all 17 cases, the technique of submental intubation was found to be simple and reliable. Hypertrophic scars were noted in three cases, orocutaneous fistula and mucocele in one case each. All these complications were managed comfortably without significant morbidity to the patient. Conclusion: Submental intubation is a good technique that can be used regularly in the management of the airway in cranio-maxillofacial trauma, but with some manageable complications.



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