Causes• Medical conditions that make it necessary to use a breathing machine (ventilator) for an extended period, usually more than one or two weeks
• Medical conditions that block or narrow your airway, such as vocal cord paralysis or throat cancer
• Paralysis, neurological problems or other conditions that make it difficult to cough up secretions from your throat and require direct suctioning of the windpipe (trachea) to clear your airway
• Preparation for major head or neck surgery to assist breathing during recovery
• Severe trauma to the head or neck that obstructs breathing
• Other emergency situations when breathing is obstructed and emergency personnel can't put a breathing tube through your mouth and into your trachea
More about Treatment
Tracheostomy (tray-key-OS-tuh-me) is a hole that surgeons make through the front of the neck and into the windpipe (trachea). A tracheostomy tube is placed into the hole to keep it open for breathing. The term for the surgical procedure to create this opening is tracheotomy.
A tracheostomy provides an air passage to help you breathe when the usual route for breathing is somehow blocked or reduced. A tracheostomy is often needed when health problems require long-term use of a machine (ventilator) to help you breathe. In rare cases, an emergency tracheotomy is performed when the airway is suddenly blocked, such as after a traumatic injury to the face or neck.
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