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A tracheostomy is a surgical hole created in the trachea or windpipe that protects a patient’s airway and ability to breath. Patients require a tracheostomy for a variety of reasons. While the result of the procedure is visually striking for the patient and their family members, educating people about this procedure is one of the most effective ways to relieve anxiety.

The most common reason patients require a tracheostomy is for long-term ventilation. A ventilator is used for those patients who are unable to breath on their own. For patients who require extended periods of time on a ventilator, a tracheostomy can help prevent tracheal stenosis, decrease the amount of pain medication needed, and improve a patient’s quality of life. For other patients, an emergency tracheostomy may be necessary due to an inability to intubate a patient or after a trauma. Some patients require a planned tracheostomy prior to extensive oral or facial surgery.

Placing a tracheostomyis relatively straightforward. However, a patient’s body habitus and severity of illness can make the overall procedure challenging. The procedure starts with a neck incision. From there, the muscles surrounding the trachea are divided and spread to reveal the trachea. A small incision is made in the trachea and the tracheostomy tube is placed inside the trachea while the endotracheal tube in the mouth is simultaneously removed. The muscles surrounding the trachea are released from traction and the tracheostomy tube is sewn into place. This tube will vary in size depending on the patient’s body habitus.

A tracheostomy can be temporary or permanent. This depends on the patient’s chronic medical conditions and the reasons for tracheostomy placement in the first place. Reversing a tracheostomy is easily performed at the bedside or as an outpatient. The tracheostomy tube is down sized and then removed entirely several days or weeks later. Skin and tissue will grow over the incision site over time of its own accord.

General surgeons are surgical specialists trained to perform a tracheostomy and it is essential patients contact a board-certified general surgeon. A board-certified surgeon has completed a general surgery residency and passed their challenging board exams. At the Florida Surgical Clinic in Bradenton, FL, Dr. Jenna Kazil, is a double board-certified general and vascular surgeon who performs tracheostomies for a variety of reasons. Dr. Kazil is a surgical specialist in Bradenton who has performed this procedure under different circumstances. The Florida Surgical Clinic and its gifted surgical specialist serves the West coast of Florida population mainly in Manatee, Sarasota, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Dr. Kazil is a consummate double board-certified general and vascular surgeon in Bradenton who has an impressive degree of experience with general and vascular surgery needs. Patients looking for a Bradenton general surgeon should contact the clinic to schedule an appointment.