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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.

Aug. 17, 2016
References
  1. What is a tracheostomy? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/trach. Accessed March 7, 2016.
  2. Hall JB, et al. Tracheostomy. In: Principles of Critical Care. 4th ed. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2015. http:// accessmedicine.com. Accessed March 9, 2016.
  3. Hyzy RC. Overview of tracheostomy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 9, 2016.
  4. Bair AE. Emergent surgical cricothyrotomy (cricothyroidotomy). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 9, 2016.
  5. Airway establishment and control. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/critical-care-medicine/respiratory-arrest/airway-establishment-and-control. Accessed March 11, 2016.
  6. Flint PW, et al. Tracheotomy. In: Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 15, 2016.
  7. Clinical consensus statement: Tracheostomy care. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://oto.sagepub.com/content/148/1/6. Accessed March 15, 2016.