Anaesthetic Management of Mentosternal Contractures Where Resources Are Limited

  • HY Embu
  • SJ Yiltok
  • ES Isamade


Objective: Perioperative airway management in postburn mentosternal contractures often pose great challenges to the anaesthetist as well as the plastic surgeon. This is more so where resources are limited. Method: Patients with postburn mentosternal contracture who had surgery between January 2000 and December 2006 at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos Nigeria were retrospectively reviewed. The information obtained from the anaesthetic chart as well as the patients\' case notes included demographic data, type of anaesthetic induction and maintenance as well as the type of airway management. Results: There were 15 patients (12 males and 3 females), aged between 6 and 65 years. A total of 17 procedures were performed on the patients. Five of the patients were induced with ketamine and maintained with the same drug until adequate release was achieved. In five others the release were done under inhalational anaesthesia using a facemask after induction with ketamine. Six of the cases had laryngeal mask airway (LMA) inserted while one patient had a tracheostomy under local anaesthesia. After adequate release endotracheal tubes were inserted except in those who had LMA which were maintained to the end of the surgery. The rest of the procedure was then continued under general inhalational anaesthesia. Conclusion: Fixed flexion deformities in postburn mentosternal contractures could present serious airway challenges to the attending anaesthetist during contracture release and skin cover. This could be overcome by the use of ketamine, inhalational anaesthesia as well as the use of LMA before contracture release.

Keywords: Postburn mentosternal contracture, Airway management, Laryngeal mask airway, Contracture release

Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (2) 2008: pp. 143-145

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2667-0526
print ISSN: 1115-2613