Is Continued Perioperative Antithrombotic Therapy Safe When Performing Open Tracheostomy?

Maeve M. Kennedy, Yassmeen Abdel-Aty, Richard Butterfield, Nan Zhang, David G. Lott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To date, there are no specific guidelines on antithrombotic therapy (ATT) management, which includes both anticoagulation and antiplatelet medications, for open tracheostomy. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the use of perioperative antithrombotic medication during open tracheostomy influences the incidence of perioperative or postoperative complications. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of all patients who underwent open tracheostomies at a tertiary care medical center from January 2015 to December 2019. Charts were reviewed for demographics, comorbidities, indication for tracheostomy, ATT use, operative details, and complications. Results: A total of 217 tracheostomies were evaluated for this study, of which 148 (68.2%) were not on ATT and 69 (31.8%) were on ATT during surgery. No significant difference was observed based on ATT status in perioperative bleeding (P =.983), postoperative bleeding (P =.24), or median days to decannulation (P =.5986). ATT patients were 2.67 times more likely to experience 30-day mortality than those non-ATT patients (P =.035). There was only one death due to hemorrhage in the ATT group. This was unrelated to the tracheostomy. This compares to 2 hemorrhage-related deaths in those not on ATT. Conclusion: There was no significant difference in perioperative or postoperative bleeding based on ATT use. Patients on ATT were significantly more likely to experience 30-day mortality, however only one death was due to hemorrhage in the ATT group and was unrelated to tracheostomy. Therefore, continued perioperative ATT use appears to be safe when performing open tracheostomy. Level of Evidence: 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1285-1292
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • clinical outcomes research
  • head and neck
  • surgical management
  • trachea
  • tracheostomy
  • tracheotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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