Surgical airway management (bronchotomy or laryngotomy) is the medical procedure of ensuring there is an open airway between a patient’s lungs and the outside world. Surgical methods for airway management rely on making a surgical incision is made below the glottis in order to achieve direct access to the lower respiratory tract, bypassing the upper respiratory tract. Surgical airway management is often performed as a last resort in cases where orotracheal and nasotracheal intubation are impossible or contraindicated. Surgical airway management is also used when a person will need a mechanical ventilator for a longer period. The surgical creation of a permanent opening in the larynx is referred to as laryngostomy. Surgical airway management is a primary consideration in anaesthesia, emergency medicine and intensive care medicine.

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