Conservative Treatment of Delayed Tracheal Perforation Following Thyroidectomy

Rate this item
(0 votes)


Objectives: To report on a patient who underwent a total thyroidectomy and re-presented three weeks later with significant subcutaneous emphysema due to a tracheal perforation.

Case report: A 42 year old man underwent a thyroidectomy to remove a papillary carcinoma. He re-presented three weeks later with a fluctuant anterior neck swelling which was reducible and increased in size on raised intra-thoracic pressure. A lateral neck x-ray showed a large pocket of air and a subsequent CT scan showed a small defect in the anterior tracheal wall. This was visualised with a rigid bronchoscopy and found to be a pin-sized perforation. The patient was managed conservatively and the swelling resolved over a period of 2 to 3 weeks.

Conclusions: Delayed post thyroidectomy tracheal perforation is a very rare complication. In this case the patient had no respiratory compromise and so conservative management was seen to be the best management option.

Additional Info

Read 12370 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 May 2020 12:55

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.


Member Login

          Forgot login? | Register

BBC News Feed

Get in touch

+44 207 637 3544

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Otorhinolaryngologist,
73 Newman Street, London
W1T 3EJ, 


Rila Publications Ltd Ethics Policy