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Tracheal rupture

  • Alternative Names

    Torn tracheal mucosa; Bronchial rupture


    People who have had a trauma will need to have their injuries treated. Injuries to the trachea often need to be repaired during surgery. Injuries to the smaller bronchi can sometimes be treated without surgery. A collapsed lung is treated with a chest tube connected to suction, which re-expands the lung.

    For patients who have breathed a foreign body into the airways, rigid or fiberoptic bronchoscopy may be used to take out the object.

    Antibiotics are used in patients with an infection in the part of the lung around the injury.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    For trauma patients, the outlook depends on the severity of other injuries. Operations to repair these injuries often have good results. The outlook is good for people whose tracheal or bronchial disruption is due to other causes.

    In the months or years after the injury, scarring at the injury site may cause problems that require other tests or procedures.


    Major complications after surgery for this condition include:

    • Infection
    • Long-term need of a ventilator
    • Narrowing of the airways
    • Scarring

    Calling your health care provider

    Contact your health care provider if you have:

    • Had a major injury to the chest
    • Inhaled a foreign body
    • Symptoms of a chest infection