New techniques and products in the field of tracheostoma care are being developed at a rapid pace. The targeted and economic use of these new options requires an in-depth knowledge of and practical experience with the aids and devices. With the use of aids and devices for the tracheostoma in particular, the patient’s personal preferences and experience play an important role since it is he who uses them on a daily basis. That is why the optimum tracheostoma provision should be tried and tested in close co-operation with the patient.
“Why do I have to do anything to the tracheostoma?”
To answer one frequently asked question right now:
a tracheostoma is an unnatural short circuit of the upper airways that means inhaled air is no longer conditioned (warmed, moistened and filtered) in the nose. In order to replace at least some of the functions performed by the nose and to prevent lung diseases from developing, an HME (heat and moisture exchanger) should be worn on the tracheostoma. As the HME will not stay on the tracheostoma by itself, it is attached by means of a tracheal tube, a tracheostoma adhesive or a tracheostoma button. Furthermore, a tracheostoma is an artificial opening in the body that needs time to stabilize and heal after surgery. Some patients have to wear a tube or tracheostoma button at least temporarily to prevent the tracheostoma from shrinking.
The use of tools such as a shower protector or a tracheostoma valve for hands-free speech is only possible if the tracheostoma has a tracheostoma adhesive or button.
The various options for the provision of a tracheostoma are presented on the following pages. Because of the large number of tracheostoma products and aids available on the market, this list cannot claim to be exhaustive. It contains the most frequently used options that have been proven in our hands as well as a number of variants.