Can You Go Home With A Tracheostomy & Is A Tracheostomy Better Than A Ventilator?

Can You Go Home With A Tracheostomy & Is A Tracheostomy Better Than A Ventilator?

Some patients with tracheostomy can still be able to go home depending upon whether you need a ventilator machine to aid breathing or require a caregiver to take care of your needs.1

Tracheotomy is an invasive technique that is done to substitute endotracheal intubation.2

Tracheostomy has better advantages over translaryngeal intubation that can improve patient’s comfort and weaning from mechanical ventilation.3,4

Can You Go Home With A Tracheostomy?

Realizing how you breathe will help you have a better understanding of tracheostomy. You breathe through your lungs when the air passes through the nose and mouth, travels down the windpipe. There are several reasons why you need a tracheostomy tube. One of the primary reasons is when you have an obstruction in the windpipe, but your doctor can explain why it is necessary for you.

Before caring for your tube, you should know how it works, its parts, and its functionalities. Though you may not be going home right away after the procedure, yet you must start thinking and planning for going home.1

Your healthcare team will provide you with the education sessions before your discharge. Ask a lot of questions so you are comfortable doing your tracheostomy care. The more confident you are, the easier it will be to handle the tracheostomy tube. Although tracheostomy can impact your simple daily activities, yet the below simple tips can help live your life safely.

Rest & Sleep– Recovery after surgery usually takes 3-6 weeks however it also depends on the patient’s health condition. You feel exhausted in the initial period, so rest plays an important role in recovery.

Bathing – While washing face or taking bath, ensure that you don’t splash water in the tracheostomy tube.

Physical Activities And Exercises– Don’t overexert yourself immediately after discharge. Increase your activities gradually accompanied by breathing and coughing exercises.2

Is A Tracheostomy Better Than A Ventilator?

When you hear your doctor suggests that your child requires a ventilator or a tracheostomy, it is often essential to understand the purpose and how it differs. A tracheostomy is a procedure performed when there is an obstruction in the airway with the help of a tracheostomy tube. It holds the airway open and allows air to move in and out of the lungs.

A mechanical ventilator is a machine that is used to assist the patient with breathing during anesthesia, sedation, or severe illness. Clinical studies have demonstrated that tracheostomy can provide several advantages such as the stimulation of oral hygiene and respiratory toilet, increasing the patient’s comfort, and reduced need for sedation or analgesia. The outcome of tracheostomy was successful weaning, so studies show tracheostomy is a better option than a ventilator.3,4

Tracheotomy is one of the oldest followed medical procedures performed by the ancient Hindus and the Egyptians. However, with the advancement in clinical theories and modern equipment Pasquale Ciaglia in 1985 refined the Seldinger technique used by Toye and Weinstein to develop percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy.

This procedure enhanced the patient’s comfort during prolonged discouraging efforts and where mechanical ventilation required longer periods. Nevertheless, pediatric tracheotomy is a complicated technique with substantial postoperative impediments. Especially with surgeries, risks associated with tracheostomy are quite high but still serious infections are very uncommon.

References:

  1. “Tracheostomy: What to Expect at Home.” Alberta.ca Government of Alberta Personal Health Portal, myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=zy1382.
  2. Hospital, Primary Children’s. “Living With a Trach Tube: Four Things to Know.” org, 21 Aug. 2018, intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/pediatrics/2018/08/living-with-a-trach-tube—four-things-to-know/.
  3. Lin, Wei-Chieh, et al. “Is Tracheostomy a Better Choice than Translaryngeal Intubation for Critically Ill Patients Requiring Mechanical Ventilation for More than 14 Days? A Comparison of Short-Term Outcomes.” BMC Anesthesiology, BioMed Central, 15 Dec. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4681017/#:~:text=Tracheostomy%20is%20thought%20to%20provide,the%20ability%20to%20transfer%20ventilator.
  4. Bice, Thomas, et al. “To Trach or Not to Trach: Uncertainty in the Care of the Chronically Critically Ill.” Seminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4809243/.

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