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Overview: A tracheostomy is a surgical procedure to create an opening in the neck in order to place a tube into your windpipe. Breathing is done through the tracheostomy tube rather than through the nose and mouth. Your doctor may recommend tracheostomy for one one of three reasons
Your doctor will make a cut in the skin of the neck that lies over the trachea. This cut is in the lower part of the neck between the Adam's apple and top of the breastbone. The neck muscles will get separated and the thyroid gland, which overlies the trachea, will be cut down the middle. Your doctor will then identify the rings of cartilage that make up the trachea and then cut into the tough walls. A metal or plastic tube, called a tracheostomy tube, will be inserted through the opening. This tube will act like a windpipe and allow you to breathe. Oxygen or a mechanical ventilator may be hooked up to the tube to bring oxygen to the lungs.
It's usually difficult to speak if you have a tracheostomy. However, a speech and language therapist can help you learn to speak with tracheostomy tube.Learn Less
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