Tracheostomy vs Laryngectomy

What is the difference between tracheostomy and laryngectomy?

 

A tracheostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening through the neck into the trachea. There is still a connection from the nose or mouth to the lungs, so traditional airway manipulation will work. The tracheostomy can be short-term or permanent.

 

There are two types of tracheostomy techniques:

 

  • Surgical tracheostomy:

 

An incision is made in the neck and a window of cartilage is removed from the trachea. A tracheostomy tube is inserted into the window and sutured in place to the neck skin.  An established tracheostomy stoma is likely after seven days.

 

  • Percutaneous tracheostomy:

A tracheostomy stoma has been formed by stretching the tracheal cartilage using guide wires and dilators. The tissues are more likely to spring back, losing the tract, if the tube is removed with in the first 7-10 days after the procedure.

 

A laryngectomy is the surgical removal of the larynx, completely and permanently. The remaining trachea is sutured to the anterior neck. There is NO CONNECTION from the nose or mouth to the lungs, so traditional airway manipulation will not work. Laryngectomy patients are known as Neck Breathers - individuals who breathe through a neck stoma.