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(trākēŏt`əmē), surgical incision into the trachea, or windpipe. The operation is performed when the windpipe has become blocked, e.g., by the presence of some foreign object or by swelling of the larynx. A curved or flexible tube is inserted into the trachea to facilitate breathing. In diseases such as pneumonia that cause the lungs to fill with fluids, this same incision may be used to drain the lungs. A tracheostomy is the surgical formation of a rounded opening into the trachea and differs from a tracheotomy in that the former procedure establishes a permanent opening.



an emergency operation performed in cases of arrested breathing; a resuscitation technique. The operation was known to the ancient Greek physicians Asclepiades and Galen and has been performed regularly since the 16th century.

Tracheotomy permits the free passage of air into the respiratory tract when the trachea is obstructed as a result of an inflammatory swelling, tumor, spasm of the vocal cords, injury, or foreign body. The incision is made below the obstruction. Modern indications for tracheotomy have been broadened to include cases of respiratory disturbances when the respiratory tract is unobstructed. Such cases include unconsciousness accompanied by the loss of the coughing and breathing reflexes, impairment of the respiratory mechanism after a chest injury, and pulmonary edema.

In tracheotomy, the trachea is generally incised longitudinally or transversely above (superior tracheotomy) or below (inferior tracheotomy) the isthmus of the thyroid. When an emergency tracheotomy is performed at the site of an accident, any available instrument, such as a penknife, may be used. A double tube made of high-grade metal or plastic is inserted into the incision. The inside tube is periodically removed and replaced, or cleansed and sterilized. The upper respiratory tract is cleansed through a tracheostoma, or opening in the trachea. Through this opening, mucus is removed by suction, the trachea is irrigated, and medicine is administered. Artificial respiration is carried out through the tracheostoma as well. After breathing is restored, the tube inserted in the tracheostoma is removed. The opening in the trachea usually heals without complications.


Arapov, D. A., and Iu. V. Isakov. Trakheostomiia v sovremennoi klinike, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1974.


surgical incision into the trachea, usually performed when the upper air passage has been blocked
References in periodicals archive ?
While Karen remains nervous of food and still bears the scar the tracheotomy tube left on her throat, she believes her family have been far more deeply affected.
CASE FACTS: In February of 1999, Eugene Burns was admitted to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital (RWJH) in New Brunswick for treatment of an aneurysm During surgery, a tracheotomy tube was inserted into the patient's throat.
(3) The person must require one or more home-health services such as catheterization or help with a tracheotomy tube.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, Coroner David Sarginson, said: "There was nothing wrong with the machine, rather it was a collaboration of various factors, including the low setting of the alarm and perhaps some partial occlusion of the tracheotomy tube.
The hospital used a tracheotomy tube sold by Tyco Healthcare Japan, Inc., the former Mallinckrodt Japan, and an anesthetic circuit manufactured by Acoma Co.
To project his voice, he kept his right hand over his throat to cover a hole left from a tracheotomy tube. A diabetic with a history of heart problems, Tools chose to undergo the highly experimental operation after he had been deemed too ill to receive a transplant and was told he had just a month to live.
In a tracheotomy, an incision is made in the front of the patient's neck and a breathing tube (tracheotomy tube) is inserted through a hole, called a stoma, into the trachea.
Because he is paralyzed from the neck down, Garret needs constant one-on-one assistance to feed him, perform bladder catheterizations, suction his tracheotomy tube, and monitor his ventilator.
At the end of July 1995, staff at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital responded to Mrs Watts' hysterical cries for help and found that the tracheotomy tube had become detached from Abigail's throat.
* Severe stenosis * Excessive granulation tissue * Severe tracheomalacia * Tracheal edema * Medical instability * Copious, thick secretions * Bilateral vocal cord paralysis - adducted position * Severely reduced lung compliance * Foam-filled cuffed tracheotomy tube
In addition, it was necessary for the nurse to remain with Bevin to prevent injury due to a mucous plug in the tracheotomy tube.
Thermo Sensitive Pvc Tracheotomy Tube - Size 6, Cuffed.