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Fenestrated tracheostomy tube tracheotomy employing fenestrated trach

last modified on: Sat, 08/26/2017 - 12:02

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return to: Tracheotomy - Tracheostomy

 Description of Tracheostomy Tubes and Appliances

Fenestrated tracheostomy (tracheotomy) tubes are generally considered inferior for regular use when compared to non-fenestrated tracheostomy tubes.  In selected cases, the fenestration may be useful - with the understanding that more frequent tracheostomy changes are likely to be needed to avoid the common complication of granulation tissue growing into the fenestration.

The most common use we have currently for fenestrated tracheostomy tubes it that of tracheal stenosis below (distal) the tracheostome.  For these patients, the barrel of the tracheostomy tube servers as a stent to keep the tracheal narrwoing open. As a result of the tight fit around the barrel, the common practice of passing air around the barrel of the tracheostomy tube for speaking purposes is not possible. These patients may benefit from the adaptations identified in the photos below (and above). The bioengineering lab at the University of Iowa is skilled in adapting tracheostomy tubes and benefits from communication such as is provided in the photos.