A tracheostomy is the surgical placement of a tube thru the neck and into the trachea. It allows relief of any airway obstruction above the trachea. It also can stent the lower trachea if obstruction exists in this area. It is sometimes needed in an otherwise normal airway just to control secretions and avoid aspiration (especially in neurologically impaired children). Children can generally be discharged from the hospital about 1-2 weeks following the procedure. Extensive teaching of parents and caregivers is necessary in all cases. Follow up care involves microlaryngoscopy and bronchoscopy every 6-12 months. Tube sizes need to be adjusted based on the condition of the child and the growth of the child. Our center has extensive experience in performing and treating children with tracheostomies.
See www.tracheostomy.com or http://wellness.ucdavis.edu/child_health/special_needs/pediatric_tracheostomy/ for more information about tracheostomy care.