Describe your tracheostomy procedure, including any complications.
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What are risks and complications of tracheostomy?
It is important to understand that a tracheostomy, as with all surgeries, involves potential complications and possible injury from both known and unforeseen causes. Because individuals vary in their tissue circulation and healing processes, as well as anesthetic reactions, ultimately there can be no guarantee made as to the results or potential complications. Tracheostomies are usually performed during emergency situations or on very ill patients. This patient population is, therefore, at higher risk for a complication during and after the procedure
The following complications have been reported in the medical literature. This list is not meant to be inclusive of every possible complication. It is listed here for information only in order to provide a greater awareness and knowledge concerning the tracheostomy procedure.
Airway obstruction and aspiration of secretions (rare).
Bleeding. In very rare situations, the need for blood products or a blood transfusion.
Damage to the larynx (voice box) or airway with resultant permanent change in voice (rare).
Need for further and more aggressive surgery
Air trapping in the surrounding tissues or chest. In rare situations, a chest tube may be required
Scarring of the airway or erosion of the tube into the surrounding structures (rare).
Need for a permanent tracheostomy. This is most likely the result of the disease process which made the a tracheostomy necessary, and not from the actual procedure itself.
Impaired swallowing and vocal function
Scarring of the neck
Obviously, many of the types of patients who undergo a tracheostomy are seriously ill and have multiple organ-system problems. The doctors will decide on the ideal timing for the tracheostomy based on the patient's status and underlying medical conditions.