As the number of critically ill patients requiring tracheotomy for prolonged ventilation has increased, the demand for a procedural alternative to the surgical tracheostomy (ST) has also emerged. Since its introduction, percutaneous dilatational tracheostomies (PDT) have gained increasing popularity. The most commonly cited advantages are the ease of the familiar technique and the ability to perform the procedure at the bedside. It is now considered a viable alternative to (ST) in the intensive care unit. Evaluation of PDT procedural modifications will require evaluation in randomized clinical trials. Regardless of the PDT technique, meticulous preoperative and postoperative management are necessary to maintain the excellent safety record of PDT.