A cut will be made in the skin of the neck. A section at the front of the windpipe will be removed. A tracheostomy tube, which will act as the airway, will then be fitted into this opening in the windpipe. The skin will be closed around the tube with stitches or clips.
Keep the stoma area and incision clean and dry. Clean it daily with mild soap and water or with hydrogen peroxide.
Wash your hands before changing the dressing. Replace the dressing with a clean dry one.
Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water. You may be advised not to get water on the stoma.
Learn the proper daily
care of your tracheostomy tube. This will help maintain its long-term health and function. Care includes the following, which you will be taught shortly after the surgery:
You will need to learn removal and replacement of the tube if it becomes blocked or dislodged.
Proper cleaning of the tube
Suctioning the tube regularly to keep it from becoming blocked with secretions
Apply mist through your tracheotomy tube at least during the night to prevent blockage of the tube
Covering the tracheostomy hole with a scarf or other cloth when going outside, so that dust, dirt, and other foreign particles cannot get in
Being very cautious about breathing in water or small particles through the tracheostomy such as food bits, powders, aerosol sprays, dust
Consult a speech therapist if recommended by your doctor.
Take antibiotics, if prescribed by your doctor.
Return to daily activities and work as soon as possible to promote healing.
Avoid vigorous exercise for six weeks after surgery.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s
Once a tracheostomy tube is in place, you will experience breathing and vocal changes. It usually takes three days to adjust to breathing through the tube. Speaking is often a larger adjustment. Initially, you may not be able to speak. You will need to cover the tracheostomy hole with your fingers in order to speak so the air going in and out of the tube will not bypasses the vocal cords.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.