Tracheotomy is an operative procedure that creates a surgical airway in the cervical trachea. A tube is temporarily or permanently placed through this opening to provide an airway and to remove secretions for the lungs. This tube is called a tracheostomy tube or trach tube.
The terms tracheotomy and tracheostomy are often used the same way. Tracheotomy is the name for the operation (the incision into the trachea) but tracheostomy refers to the actual opening or hole in the neck.The tracheostomy tube can be inserted either of two ways : the open technique or the percutaneous technique.
In cases of impaired breathing by a facial injury or a throat blockage, an emergency tracheostomy is done to allow breathing.
A tracheostomy tube may be needed for ICU patients requiring long-term mechanical ventilation, patients unable to cough effectively to clear secretions, and patients with an obstructed or blocked airway.