Tracheotomy also referred to as Tracheostomy is basically a surgical procedure that is used to create a permanent opening called tracheostomy into the trachea (windpipe) from an incision on the anterior aspect of the neck for the installation of a breathing tube. Tracheotomy helps a patient to breathe through the tracheostomy tube fitted in the trachea, thereby bypassing the nose or mouth. Tracheotomy is helpful in cases where the upper respiratory tract is obstructed.
The terms Tracheotomy and Tracheostomy are often used interchangeably but, there is a difference in their meaning. While tracheotomy refers to the surgical procedure and incision into the trachea, the term tracheostomy refers to the physical opening that allows breathing and removal of secretions from the lungs.
Tracheostomy is an important surgical procedure that is used in the treatment of several health complications like, in an emergency situation when the upper respiratory tract is blocked, a tracheotomy is performed to bypass the obstruction in the upper airway and provide oxygen to the lungs or to remove secretions from the lungs.
Some of the health conditions that require tracheostomy are as follows;
Tracheotomy is performed in
The patient’s neck is extended over the shoulder roll and the endotracheal tube is so positioned that its cuff is at level with the middle of the vocal cord.
Although complications are a rarity but, still there are a few cases of complications reported after tracheotomy. Some of the common tracheotomy complications are as follows;
Tracheostomy care is crucial as improper or lack of care can lead to infections and difficulty in speaking, swallowing and breathing among other complications. Tracheostomy care mainly involves suctioning to prevent occlusions and replacing supplies and removing secretions. Suctioning is only performed when it is clinically necessary due to the risks involved like, hypoxia or collapsing lungs and infection.
It usually takes around couple of days to get adjusted to the tracheostomy tube and speech would also be hampered since air does not pass through the voice box. Some patients find covering the tracheostomy tube to be helpful while speaking. In other cases a special valves are attached to help with the speech.
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