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.
Laryngotracheal reconstruction, including cricotracheal Reconstruction, is necessary for the treatment of severe subglottic stenosis or narrowing of the breathing passage below the vocal cords. It is generally performed in attempt to remove a child’s tracheostomy tube or to prevent placement of a tracheostomy tube. Sometimes the airway is reconstructed with a patient’s own rib cartilage and sometimes not. Some are performed as single stage procedures which means an existing tracheostomy was removed at the time of surgery and a breathing tube is left in place through the nose or mouth for 3-14 days following surgery. Sometimes the procedure is performed in two stages where the tracheostomy tube is left in position following surgery in hopes it will be removed at a later date when the airway is healed and patent. Each procedure must be tailored to the individual patient. Our physicians have extensive experience with these procedures.
Call ENT Specialists of Illinois at (847) 674-5585 for more information or to schedule an appointment.