Tracheostomy is a surgical procedure that is usually performed when the patient’s airway is obstructed or swollen and it becomes difficult for them to breathe.
So, what exactly is a tracheostomy?
An opening is made on the neck, through an incision, to gain access to the trachea. This surgical procedure allows direct access to the breathing tube and is commonly done in an operating room under general anesthesia. A tracheostomy may be permanent or temporary depending on a patient’s condition. It can be done in case of an emergency at the patient’s bedside or in an operating room. Most people need 1 to 3 days to adapt to breathing through a tracheostomy tube. It will take some time to learn how to communicate with others.
When is tracheostomy considered?
Here are a few reasons where a tracheostomy may be necessary:
- Obstruction in mouth or throat
- Swelling in trachea
- Difficulty in breathing
- Lung conditions
- Airway reconstruction after a tracheal surgery
- Impaired swallowing and vocal function
- Airway protection after a spinal or a head injury
- Long-term life support
How is the tracheostomy tube inserted?
It is a small tube inserted into the trachea to keep the stoma open. It is available in different sizes and materials such as semi-flexible plastics, metal or rigid plastics. The tubes are either reusable or disposable. Tubes with a cuff can be used in cases where the patient suffers from swallowing issues and is on a ventilator.
Usually, the tube is selected depending on the patient’s health condition, neck size and the purpose behind the procedure. All the trach tubes have an outer cannula and neck-plate. The neck plate rests on your neck and keeps the stoma opening. Holes on each side of the neck plate helps to insert the tubes ties to secure the tube in its right place and keep it stabilized.
Why is tracheostomy care important?
There are many complications associated with tracheostomy and it is important to take proper precautions and care when it comes to tracheostomy.
Here are a few complications which may arise:
- Bleeding due to tracheal irritation
- Skin breakdown due to wrong positioning of the tube
- Blockage by secretions suddenly or gradually
All these complications can have major consequences for the patients. These are some of the reasons we need intensive care. Not many rehabilitation programs offer efficient tracheostomy care, so it is important to choose a rehabilitation center which does. Explore for more information: https://apokosrehab.com/