What is a pediatric tracheostomy?
A tracheostomy is a small, surgical opening created in the neck, through which doctors insert a tube that allows a child to breathe. The tube goes through the neck and into the windpipe, but does not enter the lungs. Sometimes, the outer portion of the tube connects with a machine that helps the child to breathe.
Why is a pediatric tracheostomy performed?
Tracheostomy is used for many reasons, including:
- Airway obstruction
- Narrowing upper airway
- Allergic reaction
- Need for a ventilator (breathing machine)
- Frequent mucous secretions in airway
Additionally, the following medical conditions may warrant breathing support, including:
- Neurological disorders
- Severe respiratory infections
- Chronic lung disease (CLD)
What does a pediatric tracheostomy involve?
During the procedure, your doctor will make a small incision in the neck and carefully insert the breathing tube through to the windpipe. The procedure is short, and children usually recover quickly.
After, many children feel active and are feeding regularly within a few days. As time passes, your child will continue to improve and energy and weight will usually increase.
Your child will likely stay in a hospital for a period of time following the surgical procedure in order to ensure proper healing.
Speak with your doctors at New York ENT about the specifics of the procedure for your child and what to expect while the tube is in place (i.e., speaking, bathing, clothing, etc.)
The tube is usually not permanent, but the time frame that it is used varies depending on the condition and needs of the child. Your doctor will meet with your child regularly while the tube is in place, and will update you when the tube is no longer necessary and can be removed.
If you believe your child may benefit from pediatric tracheostomy care, the first step is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience with upper airway treatments. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.