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August 1961

The Repair of Depressed Tracheotomy Scars

Arch Otolaryngol. 1961;74(2):150-152. doi:10.1001/archotol.1961.00740030155005

Tracheotomy wounds, healing as they do by secondary intention, leave, at best, unsightly scars which are often complicated by large depressions due to the ingrowth of skin, which communicates directly with the mucosa of the trachea (Fig. 1).

Proper repair requires that a bed be formed to fill the depression in the suprasternal notch. In 3 instances where efforts to repair such defects were unsuccessfully attempted by other means, excellent cosmetic results have been obtained by utilizing the sternal heads of the sternocleidomastoid muscles as a bed to fill the depression and cover the defect.

The operation is performed under local anesthesia, with the patient breathing air and oxygen through a face mask under the head drape, or the area is prepared as for a thyroidectomy.

The area of the scar is outlined with methylene blue, and any local anesthetic of

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