This topic aims to discuss key aspects of anesthetic and airway management for head and neck surgery. Airway management is a central part of patient care and management in Head and Neck Surgery. Common challenges in Head and Neck surgery are shared airway, distorted airway anatomy due to existing pathology; risk of airway obstruction, disconnection or loss of airway intra-operatively; risk of soiling of the airway due to bleeding and surgical debris; and the potential for airway compromise post-operatively. The option for airway management technique is influenced by patient’s factors, anesthetic needs, and surgical requirements. Intubation technique necessitating either a small or large cuffed tracheal tube with a throat pack provides the highest level of airway protection Non-intubation or open airway techniques involve mask ventilation, apneic techniques, and insufflation techniques, or the use of a laryngeal mask airway. Lastly, jet ventilation techniques may be conducted via a supraglottic, subglottic or transtracheal routes. It is essential to have clear airway management plans including rescue airway strategies that should be communicated with the surgeons and patients at the earliest opportunity.
Part of the book: Surgical Management of Head and Neck Pathologies