- : A surgical operation to create an opening (stoma) into the windpipe (the trachea). The opening itself can also be called a tracheostomy. A tracheostomy may be needed on an emergency basis to permit a person to breathe who has severe narrowing or blockage (obstruction) of their upper airway. Tracheostomy may be part of the surgery required for patients who have to have the larynx (voice box) removed because of cancer. Tracheostomy may also be used for patients who require long-term support with a breathing machine (ventilator).
* * *An operation to make an opening into the trachea. SEE ALSO: tracheotomy. [tracheo- + G. stoma, mouth]
* * *tra·che·os·to·my .trā-kē-'äst-ə-mē n, pl -mies the surgical formation of an opening into the trachea through the neck esp. to allow the passage of air also the opening itself
* * *n.a surgical operation in which a hole is made into the trachea through the neck to relieve obstruction to breathing, as in diphtheria. A curved metal, plastic, or rubber tube is usually inserted through the hole and held in position by tapes tied round the neck. It may be possible for the patient to speak by occluding the opening with his fingers. The tube must be kept clean and unblocked. Tracheostomy is also used in conjunction with artificial respiration, when it serves not only to secure the airway but also provides a route for sucking out secretions and protects the airway against the inhalation of pharyngeal contents. See also minitracheostomy.
* * *tra·che·os·to·my (tra″ke-osґtə-me) [tracheo- + -stomy] tracheotomy. 2. creation of an opening in the anterior trachea for insertion of a tube to relieve upper airway obstruction and facilitate ventilation. 1. the opening created by either of these processes.
Medical dictionary. 2011.