Everything You Need to Know About Tracheostomy: A Complete Guide

January 6, 2023

The term “healthcare” refers to a broad category of services and care that individuals employ to keep themselves healthy. It covers everything, from precautions to required medical procedures and treatments. It is essential to have access to good healthcare to live a long, healthy life. 

A tracheostomy is a medical procedure in which a small hole is made in the neck and a breathing tube is put into the windpipe (trachea). Most of the time, this procedure is done to help a person with a blocked airway breathe easier. 

After a tracheostomy, it is important to take care of the incision site and the breathing tube. This includes keeping the area clean and free from infection and making sure that the tube does not become dislodged. It is also important to follow a special diet plan, as the tracheostomy can cause problems with swallowing. 

Read out carefully to know more about tracheostomy care at home. Further, this blog will explain the procedure of a tracheostomy, how to take care of it without any complications, and so on.

When Is Tracheostomy Used?

If you can’t breathe normally because of an injury or accident or because your muscles are very weak, a tracheostomy can get oxygen to your lungs. It will let you breathe if something is blocking your throat, like a lump, a tumour, or something stuck in the throat.

A tracheostomy is performed on people in three situations:

  • To help you breathe in the event of an accident, injury, or weakness in your respiratory muscles
  • Allows you in the breathing process if your throat is blocked for example by a swelling, tumour or something struck in the throat
  • A tracheostomy may be used in some cases to assist a person who has coughing difficulty and to reduce the risk of fluid or food entering the lungs.

How Is Tracheostomy Surgery Performed?

The tracheostomy surgery is carried out under general anaesthesia, which means the person will be unconscious during the surgery and will not experience any pain. The surgeon will make a hole in the throat using a scalpel or needle before inserting the tube. If they are unable to breathe on their own, their tracheostomy tube will be connected to a ventilator, which will assist them in breathing to increase the flow of oxygen into the lungs. 

If a general anaesthetic cannot be used due to time constraints, the tracheostomy will be performed as quickly as feasible in an emergency using a local anaesthetic. This means the person will be conscious during the procedure but not feel the pain. Before a patient leaves the hospital, tubes can sometimes be taken out and incisions can be closed.

But sometimes people may need to stay permanently in the hospital if they have a long-term condition that affects their breathing. 

Adapting to Tracheostomy

Some patients may need a permanent tracheostomy tube. Therefore, they must adjust to the tracheostomy tube, which will occur gradually. At the starting stage, they may have difficulty talking, exercising, and eating. They should always be cautious to keep the tracheostomy clean and free from blockages. 

Complications That Occur With Tracheostomy

In general, a tracheostomy is a risk-free procedure that works in the flow. However, as a medical procedure, the chances of encountering minor risks and complications are high. Which includes:

  • Damage to the oesophagus that carries the food from the throat to the stomach. 
  • Bleeding
  • Fluid and mucus buildup in the tracheostomy tube can make breathing difficult, leading to infection. 
  • Misplacement of the tracheostomy tube 
  • Damage to the neck’s thyroid gland, trachea, or nerves

How to Take Care of a Patient With Tracheostomy?

The tracheostomy procedure involves high risk and a great deal of patient care. If any member of your family is using a tracheostomy tube for breathing support, you should be extra careful. If it is possible, it is better to have trained nurses and experts by your side to take care of your loved ones. 

We all know that people with trachs are at high risk for several life-threatening problems, such as infection, airway blockage, and trouble breathing. You should give these patients enough attention and care to make them free from all sorts of risks. 

Living with a tracheostomy is difficult, but once you learn how to deal with it, it makes life much easier. With a permanent tracheostomy tube, you can live a normal life. However, it may take time for some individuals to adjust to swallowing and speaking.

The areas people find most difficult are mainly speaking, eating, and physical activity, and these are the areas their caregivers have to be more careful of.


People who have had tracheostomy surgery may experience various difficulties with speaking. The most common complaint is that speech is softer and breathier than before surgery. This is because air must now travel through the stoma, or opening, in the neck and not through the nose and mouth. Additionally, because the tracheostomy tube is inserted directly into the windpipe or trachea, it can interfere with the vibration of the vocal cords, making it difficult to produce certain sounds.

In some cases, people may need to undergo speech therapy to help them regain their speaking ability. Therapists can teach them exercises to improve muscle function and help them regain control over the muscles used for speaking.


Patients who have undergone tracheostomy surgery often have difficulty eating and swallowing. This is because the tracheostomy tube can interfere with the normal movement of the mouth and throat. The tube can also cause inflammation and scarring of the tissues in the throat. In addition, patients may have a reduced sense of taste and smell, which can make eating less enjoyable. Swallowing may also be more difficult due to the reduced muscle tone in the throat. As a result, patients may need to be fed through a gastrostomy tube.

Physical Activity:

After tracheostomy surgery, people may have difficulties with physical activities due to the loss of muscle tone in the neck and shoulders, as well as the presence of the tracheostomy tube. These difficulties can make it difficult to breathe during physical activity and can also make it difficult to swallow.

How to Take Care of Your Tracheostomy?

Assuming you have a tracheostomy, the general rule of thumb for taking care of your tracheostomy is to keep it clean and dry. 

More specifically, you will need to clean the tracheostomy tube and surrounding skin every day. It is best to do this after a shower or bath when the skin is already damp. Use a soft cloth or cotton swab to gently clean the skin around the stoma (the opening in your neck). Be sure to clean the inside and outside of the tracheostomy tube. 

There are special tracheostomy brushes that you can purchase to help with this. Once the tube and skin are clean, apply a thin layer of tracheostomy ointment to the skin. This will help keep the skin from getting too dry. 

It is also important to suction your tracheostomy regularly. This helps keep your airways clear and prevents mucus from building up. Your doctor or nurse will show you how to do this. 

In addition, you will need to watch for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or drainage from the tracheostomy site. If you notice any of these, be sure to contact your doctor or nurse right away.

Post-Tracheostomy Surgery Diet Regimens

  • The diet plans after a tracheostomy operation may vary depending on the individual’s situation and health condition. However, some general guidelines can be followed.
  • It is important to eat healthy, nutrient-rich foods after a tracheostomy operation. This will help the individual heal and recover quickly. Foods high in protein, vitamins, and minerals are essential for recovery.
  • The diet should also be high in fibre to avoid constipation. This is a common problem after a tracheostomy operation. 
  • It is important to drink plenty of fluids after a tracheostomy operation. This will help prevent dehydration. Fluids such as water, juice, and soup are necessary.
  • It is important to avoid carbonated beverages and alcohol after a tracheostomy operation. These can cause problems with healing and can also lead to dehydration.


In conclusion, taking care of a tracheostomy at home can be hard, but with the right planning, knowledge, and care, it can be manageable and even rewarding. It’s important to remember that proper tracheostomy care is important for making sure the patient is safe and comfortable. With the help of in-home doctors, trained nurses, and family members, a good care plan for tracheostomy can be made and maintained.

Choose Salamati for Your Expert Home Healthcare Services

With Salamati’s personalized healthcare home services, families are relieved of the responsibility of providing care, allowing them to continue living in peace knowing their loved one is receiving the best possible care. To know more about post-tracheostomy care at home, our experts are ready to assist you in the best possible way. We care for your health for a sound and happy life.


  • How should my tracheostomy tube be cleaned and maintained?

To clean the tracheostomy tube, you should change the inner cannula, wash the skin around the tube, and inspect the tube for damage or blockages. A licenced nurse should perform this.

  • Can I take a shower while wearing a tracheostomy tube?

While it is normally safe to shower while wearing a tracheostomy tube, it is crucial to follow specific safety measures to avoid water entering the trachea. This may include using a customised tracheostomy collar or a waterproof dressing to cover the tracheostomy tube.

  • What is the best way to suction my tracheostomy tube?

To suction your tracheostomy tube, you need a suction catheter, suction tubing, and sterile water. It’s best if you follow the advice of the medical staff.

  • How can I change the tracheostomy tube?

Changing a tracheostomy tube can be done in different ways, depending on the type of tube being used. Usually, the old tube is taken out and a new one is put in its place.

  • What symptoms indicate a tracheostomy tube complication?

Breathing problems, chest pain, blood in the cough, and changes in the quantity or look of secretions are just a few of the symptoms that could point to a tracheostomy tube issue. If you encounter any of these symptoms, consult your doctor.




Salamati is one of the premium healthcare providers in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, and the UAE. We provide a wide range of healthcare services in the comfort of your home, hotel, or office. Our services include home nursing care, physiotherapy, speech therapy, doctor on-call, and nutrition consultation at home.


Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Copyright by Salamati Healthcare 2022. All rights reserved.