In most cases, a tracheostomy is temporary, providing an alternative breathing route until other medical issues are resolved. If a person needs to remain connected to a ventilator indefinitely, the tracheostomy is often the best permanent solution.

Your health care team will help you determine when it's appropriate to remove the tracheostomy tube. The hole may heal shut on its own, or it can be closed surgically.

Sep. 04, 2013