A tracheostomy is a surgically created opening from the lower anterior neck tissue to the trachea. When an individual’s ability to breathe is threatened by upper airway blockage, a tracheostomy may be created to provide direct access between the trachea and the atmosphere for respiration and clearance of bronchotracheal secretions. Tracheostomies are also placed to aid in long-term mechanical ventilation. Technically,tracheostomy refers to the permanent stoma (opening in the neck skin) between the trachea and neck skin. This term may also be used to reference the procedure of creating the stoma. Tracheotomy is the more commonly used term for the procedure creating a tracheostomy, but it is also sometimes used to refer to a temporary tracheostomy. To reduce this potential confusion, in this text ...

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