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School of Medicine
Types of Tracheostomy Tubes
A tracheostomy (trach) tube is a curved tube that is inserted into a tracheostomy stoma (the hole made in the neck and windpipe (Trachea)). There are different types of tracheostomy tubes that vary in certain features for different purposes. These are manufactured by different companies. However, a specific type of tracheostomy tube will be the same no matter which company manufactures them.
A commonly used tracheostomy tube consists of three parts: outer cannula with flange (neck plate), inner cannula, and an obturator. The outer cannula is the outer tube that holds the tracheostomy open. A neck plate extends from the sides of the outer tube and has holes to attach cloth ties or velcro strap around the neck. The inner cannula fits inside the outer cannula. It has a lock to keep it from being coughed out, and it is removed for cleaning. The obturator is used to insert a tracheostomy tube. It fits inside the tube to provide a smooth surface that guides the tracheostomy tube when it is being inserted.
There are different types of tracheostomy tubes available and the patient should be given the tube that best suits his/her needs. The frequency of these tube changes will depend on the type of tube and may possibly alter during the winter or summer months. Practitioners should refer to specialist practitioners and/or the manufacturers for advice.
Special Tracheostomy Tubes