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1.  Midline Submental Orotracheal Intubation in Maxillofacial Injuries: A Substitute to Tracheostomy Where Postoperative Mechanical Ventilation is not Required 
Background:
Maxillofacial fractures present unique airway problems to the anaesthesiologist. Nasotracheal intubation is contraindicated due to associated Lefort I, II or III fractures. The requirement for intraoperative maxillomandibular fixation (MMF) to re-establish dental occlusion in such cases precludes orotracheal intubation. Tracheostomy has a high complication rate and in many patients, an alternative to the oral airway is not required beyond the perioperative period. Hernandez1 in 1986 first described “The submental route for endotracheal intubation”. Later some workers faced difficult tube passage, bleeding, and sublingual gland involvement with this approach. They modified this to strict midline submental intubation and there were no operative or postoperative complications in their cases.67&8. Therefore we used mid line approach for submental orotracheal intubation in this study to demonstrate its feasibility and reliability and that it can be used as an excellent substitute to short term tracheostomy.
Patients & Methods:
We used midline submental intubation in 25 cases selected out of 310 consecutively treated patients with maxillofacial trauma over a 3 year period. After induction orotracheal intubation was done with spiral re-inforced tube. A 1.5-2.0 cm skin incision was made in the submental region in the midline 2.0 cm behind the symphysis and endotracheal tube was taken out through this incision in all the cases. At the end of the surgery the procedure was reversed, the submental wound was stitched; all the patients could be extubated & none of them required post-operative mechanical ventilation.
Conclusion:
There were no significant operative or postoperative complications. Postoperative submental scarring was acceptable[6]. We conclude that midline submental intubation is a simple and useful technique with low morbidity. It can be chosen in selected cases of maxillofacial trauma and is an excellent substitute to tracheostomy where postoperative mechanical ventilation is not required.
PMCID: PMC3087271  PMID: 21547178
Submental orotracheal intubation; Maxillofacial injury; Tracheostomy

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