A tracheostomy is a temporary breathing tube that enters the airway through the front of the neck and connects to a breathing machine.
A tracheostomy takes the place of a breathing tube that goes through the mouth.
The timing of this common procedure may affect how the brain recovers, and the body’s ability to return to pre-stroke activities.
Some stroke patients have difficulty breathing because after a severe stroke, they may lack airway reflexes to keep bacteria and secretions out of the lungs, and this may lead to breathing difficulty. If these conditions are severe, breathing may fail, and the placement of a breathing tube into the trachea (or windpipe) and mechanical ventilation may be needed to keep the stroke patient alive. If the breathing failure continues, then a tracheostomy is typically required.