Everything you need to know about tracheostomy?


It is surgically made opening through the neck into the windpipe. This opening is made to aid breathing by opening the airway. This is usually done in emergencies in an operating room or at the patient’s bedside. The patient might be given anesthesia before this procedure. Tracheostomy can be permanent or temporary. This depends on the condition of the patient. Whether it is temporary or permanent, the patient should look for tracheostomy care in Portage Michigan.

When to consider a tracheostomy?

A patient with one of the following conditions receives a tracheostomy:

  • Obstructed throat or mouth
  • Breathing problems caused due to injury or pulmonary (lung conditions) or edema (swelling)
  • Airway reconstruction after laryngeal or tracheal surgery
  • Airway protection after neck and head surgery
  • Airway protection from food or secretions  
  • Need for ventilator support

What is a tracheostomy tube?

It is a small curved tube inserted into the tracheostomy. It is inserted to keep the opening clear. These tubes come in different sizes. Commonly used materials for making these tubes are semi-flexible plastic, rigid plastic and metal. Thes tubes are often reusable or disposable. A cannula inside the tube can be either reusable or disposable. Some tubes have a cuff and some don’t. Cuffed tracheostomy tubes are for patients receiving mechanical ventilation or having swallowing difficulties. Once the ventilator is removed, the non-cuffed tracheostomy tube is used to maintain the patient’s airway. The selection of the tube depends on the condition of the patient, size and shape of neck and the purpose of the tracheostomy.

A tracheostomy tube has a neck-plate (flange) and an outer cannula (main shaft). The neck plate of the tube rests on the neck over the opening. There are holes on each side of the neck-plate. Trach tube ties are inserted through these holes to secure the tube in place.

What to do when the patient is going home with a tracheostomy?

  • Do not speak immediately after receiving the tracheostomy. Make use of a pen and page if you want to communicate with others. Follow the instructions given by the doctor. 
  • Find a certified nurse or therapist for tracheostomy care in Portage Michigan. Don’t remove the outer cannula on your own. Let the nurse take care of it.  
  • Always protect your airway from outside dust, cold air and other outside elements using tracheostomy covers.

When to call the healthcare provider?

When you hire a nurse for tracheostomy care in Portage Michigan, the nurse can handle the emergencies. In case you are not receiving tracheostomy care, call your physician immediately in case of :

  • An irregular heart rate.
  • Increased pain or discomfort. Some pain and discomfort is expected a week after the procedure.
  • Difficulty in breathing which is not relieved with the usual method of clearing secretions.  
  • Crusting occurs, secretions become thick or mucus plugs are present.

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