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Reasons for a Tracheostomy

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A tracheostomy is needed when the airway is blocked and the patient can't breath. The tracheostomy provides a new pathway for air to get to the lungs.

Reasons why a tracheostomy may be needed:

  • Swelling of the throat that blocks the airway such as from an allergic reaction
  • Damage to the throat
  • An object or growth that blocks the throat or trachea
  • Respiratory failure and the need for supplemental oxygen
  • Problems breathing during sleep (sleep apnea)
  • Paralysis which affects the breathing
  • Surgery on the larynx (voice box)
  • Cancer in or near the trachea