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A tracheal bronchus is a congenital abnormality of the tracheobronchial tree in which a displaced or accessory bronchus arises from the trachea superior to its bifurcation. We herein report a case in which a tracheal bronchus was incidentally found after induction of general anesthesia, and we discuss the potential airway management problems that may have ensued. An 80-year-old man was scheduled for buccal mucosa resection and abdominal skin grafting for treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the left buccal mucosa. Because of trismus and anticipated airway difficulty, an awake intubation was performed under sedation. A 3-branched structure was incidentally observed at the first branching site that was supposed to be the carina. The tip of the endotracheal tube was repositioned 3 cm above the tracheal trifurcation, and the rest of the procedure proceeded uneventfully. A flexible fiberoptic scope is not used in many anesthesia cases, making the identification of such tracheal or bronchial abnormalities more difficult. Therefore, it is important to carefully check the bronchial morphology on any available chest radiographs before surgery, listen to lung sounds after intubation, and assess thoracic lung compliance without neglecting routine safety checks.

Keywords: Anomalous bronchus; Tracheal bronchus; Trifurcate carina; Atelectasis; Hypoxia
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eISSN: 1878-7177

ISSN: 0003-3006

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