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After surgery, your neck may be sore, and you may have trouble swallowing for a few days. It may take 2 to 3 days to get used to breathing through the tracheostomy (trach) tube. You can expect to feel better each day. But it may take at least 2 weeks to adjust to living with your trach (say "trayk").
At first, it may be hard to make sounds or to speak. Your doctor, nurses, respiratory therapists, and speech therapists can help you learn to talk with your trach tube or with other speaking devices. When you speak, your voice may sound deeper and scratchier than normal.
Your trach tube may be sewn or tied to your skin. If you have stitches, the doctor will remove them about 1 week after your surgery. The doctor may also take out your original tube and put in a new tube 5 to 10 days after surgery.
Taking good care of your trach is very important. It can prevent infections and help keep you breathing easily.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Your doctor or nurse will give you instructions on how to take care of your trach. This will include how to suction your trach, how to clean the opening in your neck (stoma), and how to clean and replace your trach's inner tube (inner cannula). Be sure to follow all of your doctor's instructions closely.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Current as of: April 15, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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