Mayo Clinic care providers are sensitive to the fact that tracheostomy surgery and placement is a stressful and life-changing event for patients and their families.
Mayo Clinic performs a comprehensive evaluation prior to tracheostomy surgery, which can include collaboration among specialists in pediatrics, ear nose and throat, respiratory therapy, speech therapy and pulmonary medicine. The medical team works together to determine the most appropriate treatment option to improve breathing.
Doctors view the airway using tiny tubes with cameras (endoscopes) and X-rays. The surgeon evaluates your condition and unique needs before determining which type of tracheostomy tube can provide the optimal result.
The surgery to create the tracheostomy is generally performed in the hospital operating room with a general anesthetic. After the opening (stoma) is made, a tracheostomy tube is placed through the stoma into the trachea.
After surgery, you stay in the hospital for observation and follow-up. The length of stay can vary. You may experience mild discomfort and pain for a few days. Tracheostomy tubes must be changed periodically to keep them clean.
A tracheostomy changes the way a person breathes, speaks and eats. A speech therapist can help restore the best voice quality possible.
Flu and pneumonia vaccines are recommended for people with tracheostomies, because they are more prone to catching respiratory illnesses.