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Wendy asked...

My husband had a motorbike accident...

My husband had a motorbike accident on 28 February 2014 and as a consequence was given a tracheostomy. He was recently decannulated (31 August 2016). It has been over 2 months now and the stoma has healed but the hole has not sealed. He is still breathing and excreting through it even though it is a very small hole. Does this mean that the trachea is still open and what can be done to get the hole closed altogether please?

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The answer

The tracheostomy site will usually close on its own, however if the stoma does fail to close after the expected length of healing time, suture closure or a surgical procedure may be required. This opening may continue to drain for a while, it is important to keep a clean, dry dressing in place until the wound site has completely healed.

Following your husbands discharge from hospital was any specific information given regarding how long his stoma will take to heal and who to contact should you have any concerns? If not we would recommend contacting your GP or ENT specialist and inform them that his stoma site has not yet fully healed and continues to leak air and secretions. They may continue to monitor your husband with follow up appointments until the stoma is completely closed or offer an alternative management plan if they feel its appropriate.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses