a. A tracheotomy is the incision of the trachea through the skin and muscles of
the neck. When an indwelling tube is inserted into the surgically created opening in the
trachea, the term "tracheostomy" is used. A tracheostomy may be permanent or
temporary. There are many diseases and conditions that make a tracheostomy
necessary. For example, a tracheostomy may be done:
To bypass an upper airway obstruction.
To replace an endotracheal tube with a tracheostomy tube.
To allow for extended mechanical ventilation.
To facilitate removal of tracheobronchial secretions.
To prevent aspiration in the comatose or paralyzed patient.
b. A tracheostomy tube (sometimes referred to as a tracheal cannula set)
consists of three parts: the outer cannula, the inner cannula, and the obturator. Refer
to Figure 2-3.
Figure 2-3. Tracheostomy tube set
(1) The obturator is used by the surgeon as a guide when inserting the outer
cannula into the tracheal incision.