A tracheostomy is surgery to make an opening in the neck leading into the trachea, also called the windpipe. A tube is inserted in the opening to make an air passage and take out lung secretions. The tube is called a tracheostomy tube. Tracheostomies are performed for airway obstructions, abnormalities of the trachea or larynx, neck cancer, swallowing difficulties, neck injuries or anything that stops normal breathing.

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