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Tracheostomy is an operative Otolaryngological procedure that creates a surgical airway in the cervical trachea. It is performed by making an incision on the anterior aspect of the neck, separating the strap muscles, dividing the thyroid isthmus and opening a direct airway through an incision in the cervical trachea (windpipe).
A tracheostomy operation is most often performed in patients who have had difficulty weaning off a ventilator. It may also be needed in patients who have suffered trauma or a severe neurologic insult. Less commonly, it may be needed in infectious and neoplastic processes of the airway.
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