Tracheostomy – Percutaneous or Open

Tracheostomy is a surgical procedure performed to create an opening in front of your neck. This is done to insert a tube into the windpipe (trachea) to assist in breathing and suctioning out fluid buildup from the lungs.

The procedure is usually recommended if you have breathing and swallowing difficulties due to airway blockage, abnormality of the trachea or larynx, neck cancer, paralysis of muscles that assist in swallowing, or other mouth or neck injuries.

Tracheostomy is performed under anesthesia. Your surgeon makes a small incision through the skin at the front of your neck and inserts a tube into the trachea. The tracheostomy tube can be placed permanently or temporarily, where the tube is eventually removed and the hole closed.

Following the procedure, you will have to adapt to this new method of breathing. You will talk clearly so you can communicate with others.

As with any procedure, tracheostomy may involve certain risks and complications which include bleeding, infection, scarring, and injury to the nerves, thyroid gland damage, trachea erosion or lung puncture.