What is a tracheostomy?

The basics of a tracheostomy

A tracheotomy is a procedure which consists of creating an opening in the neck for direct access to the windpipe (trachea).

What is a Tracheostomy?

The basic to get started

A tracheotomy is a procedure which consists of creating an opening in the neck for direct access to the windpipe (trachea). The opening is called a tracheostomy or sometimes a tracheostoma. There are many potential reasons for the purpose of a tracheostomy, including easier breathing and secretion management. A tracheostomy can be either temporary, 2-4 weeks, or more long-term, months – years, or in some cases permanent, depending on the needs and reason for having it.

A new way of breathing

The function of your nose


Your nose does more than just smell – it heats, humidifies, and filters the air you breathe. In this way, you can be sure the air is at the right body temperature and contains enough moisture when it reaches your lungs for them to function properly. With a tracheostomy, these nasal functions are lost, and you will breathe in dry, cold, and unfiltered air.

Lung health

Impact on lung health

Breathing through a tracheostoma means breathing in dry, cold and unfiltered air. This will irritate the lining of your airways and your lungs, and may result in more coughing, mucus production, and a greater risk for infection.

Using a Heat & Moisture Exchanger (HME) provides heat and moisture to your airways and lungs, and so may help with the function of both.

Speaking with a tracheostomy

Learn to speak in a different way

Since the exhaled air may no longer move through your vocal cords and out through your mouth, your voice may also be affected. The type of tracheostomy tube you have, as well as the reason for your tracheostomy, will dictate how speaking will be affected. Some people may be able to speak after a tracheostomy using equipment and others may not; however, there are options available to help you communicate again – your healthcare professional will work with you to find the best option for you.

Closing the tracheostoma

If the tracheostomy is no longer necessary, the healthcare provider can remove the tracheostomy tube. The hole often closes on its own. But if it doesn’t, a surgeon can close it up.


Respiratory conditions

Tracheostomised children have a high risk of respiratory infections. This is due to the naturally protective oral and nasal passages being bypassed, allowing microorganisms into the lower airways more easily.

Learn more about paediatrics

XtraCare HME brochure

Combining an HME with a filter, provides you with more than humidification

XtraCare combines an HME with a highly effective electrostatic filter, and provides protection against airborne particles, including viruses and bacteria, with a filtration efficiency of more than 99%*.

Download Brochure

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Tracheostomy Supplies

Products for your need

We provide different products for different situations. Learn more about XtraCare HME for good humidification and effective filtration. Or Freevent DualCare where a speaking valve is combined with the benefits of an HME

For tracheostomised children we have Freevent XtraCare Mini that provides effective filtration along with good humidification for daily protection.

Tracheostomy Products