Advantages and Disadvantages

A tracheostomy is a surgical opening (a tubular passageway) into the trachea (the windpipe, located in the lower front part of the throat) into which a plastic or metal tracheostomy tube is placed. It is considered an invasive procedure.

A small suction tube can be inserted into the opening to remove secretions (suctioning), or a mechanical ventilator can be connected to the tube. Eating and speaking can continue with effort IF there is no pre-existing speech or swallowing problem. A tracheostomy does not restore the ability to swallow or speak. A tracheostomy speaking device, such as the Passy-Muir valve, may enable the ability to speak and swallow.

Advantages of a tracheostomy

Disadvantages of a tracheostomy

Oppenheimer, E.A. (1997). Living With ALS: Adapting to breathing changes. (pp. 34-35). California: The ALS Association.