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Tracheotomy Care

A tracheotomy is one of the earliest medical procedures ever described. The procedure is usually performed when the upper airway becomes blocked or is at risk for becoming blocked, preventing air from reaching the lungs. During a tracheotomy, a surgeon will make an incision on the neck that extends into the trachea. The resulting hole usually has a tracheotomy tube within it and allows air to flow freely in and out of the airway.

Tracheotomies can be performed as an emergency procedure, or they can be planned, as part of cancer surgery or airway reconstruction, or to allow for the use of ventilators in critically ill patients. In most cases, a surgeon will place a tracheotomy tube into the stoma to ensure that the hole does not close. These tubes are made from various materials, including medical-grade plastics and metals.

These tubes need regular care and changing. In certain patients, these tubes can be permanently removed once the underlying condition is corrected.

Temple's otolaryngologists are highly experienced in all aspects of tracheotomy care. They ensure that any patient who receives a tracheotomy also receives the best possible education in caring for their new airway. In many cases, the tracheotomy tube may be permanently removed.