A tracheotomy is an incision into the trachea (windpipe) that forms a temporary or permanent opening which is called a tracheostomy. Sometimes the terms "tracheotomy" and "tracheostomy" are used interchangeably. The opening, or hole, is called a stoma. A tube is inserted through the opening to allow passage of air and removal of secretions. Instead of breathing through the nose and mouth, the patient will now breath through the tracheostomy tube.
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