Tracheostomy - Share Your Experience

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Did you or someone you know have a tracheostomy? Please discuss your experience.

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The tracheostomy procedure

In most situations, the surgery is performed in the intensive care unit or in the operating room. In either location, the patient is continuously monitored by pulse oximeter (oxygen saturation) and cardiac rhythm (EKG). The anesthesiologists usually use a mixture of an intravenous medication and a local anesthetic in order to make the procedure comfortable for the patient.

The surgeon makes an incision low in the neck. The trachea is identified in the middle and an opening is created to allow for the new breathing passage (tracheostomy tube) to be inserted below the voice box (larynx). Newer techniques utilizing special instruments have made it possible to perform this procedure via a percutaneous approach (a less invasive approach using a piercing method rather than an open surgical incision).

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Worried Mom, 19-24 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 18

My son is scheduled for a tracheostomy this eveninghis third one. He went into ICU 12 days ago for what was diagnosed as a misplaced feeding tube and another aspiration pneumonia. They tried to extubate him on the weekend when he went into respiratory distress, and this evening, the surgeon will insert a tracheostomy. Although this won't prevent future aspiration pneumonias, the medical staff involved in his care will be able to keep him on the respirator and, we (his parents) will have to relearn how to care for the tracheostomy.

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