Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep. In emergency situations, local anesthesia may be used. It will numb the area.
Description of Procedure
A cut will be made in the skin of the neck. A small incision will then be made in front of the windpipe between the cartilage. 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.
Immediately After Procedure
You will breathe through this tube as long as it is in place. Oxygen and machines to assist breathing will be provided, if needed. A chest x-ray may be needed.
How Long Will It Take?
About 15-30 minutes
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure. You may have some pain and soreness during recovery. Your doctor can prescribe pain medication to help relieve this discomfort.
Average Hospital Stay
The length of stay will depend on the reason for the procedure. Most stays are 1-5 days.
Tracheostomy tubes need to be cared for on a regular basis. The hospital staff will teach you how to care for your tracheostomy tube. It is important follow the staff’s instructions to prevent infection and airway obstruction. Other specialists will help you adjust to the tracheotomy and learn how to speak and eat with the tracheostomy.
Tracheostomy tube care considerations include:
Regular clearing of secretions
Keeping the airway open
How to use oxygen or a humidifier (if needed)
Learning to keep away from irritants that affect the airway
Speaking and eating techniques
Learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
Knowing when to call for emergency medical services
Call Your Doctor
It is important for you to monitor your recovery after you leave the hospital. Alert your doctor to any problems right away. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
Signs of infection, including cough, excessive foul-smelling mucous, fever, and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
Persistent nausea or vomiting
Pain that you cannot control with the medications you were given
Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
Call for emergency medical services right away if:
Your tracheostomy tube falls out and you cannot replace it
You are having difficulty breathing through your tube
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Frequently asked questions about tracheotomy and swallowing. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/slp/clinical/frequently-asked-questions-on-tracheotomy-and-swallowing. Accessed August 29, 2017.
Tracheostomy. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/trach. Updated December 9, 2016. Accessed August 29, 2017.
Tracheostomy in Adults. American Thoracic Society website. Available at: https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/tracheostomy-in-adults-1.pdf. Accessed August 29, 2017.
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