The dreaded trach!

    • Anonymous
      August 20, 2006 at 3:30 pm


      My mom was intubated in August of 2005. About ten days after that, they put the trach in because they anticipated that she would be on the respirator for some time. Even through her drug induced stuper, I could tell she hated the tube in her mouth and down her throat. I was glad she wasn’t in, what looked like, pain anymore.

      Now here we are almost a year later and the trach is still in. She was weaned off the vent by the beginning of Decemeber and worked well with the speaking valve.

      At the end of January, they did a scope, it looked “good”, and the trach was removed. Two weeks later at a follow up appointment, a scope of her throat revealed scar tissue that the doctor planned to remove. During the procedure to remove the scarring (tracheal stenosis), he put the trach back in because the airway had been so compromised with scar tissue. At the end of March he removed the scarring. A few months later at a follow up, he saw “granulation tissue” and had to remove it in another procedure.

      The dilemma: scar tissue begets scar tissue, right? Unless it somehow tapers off. The doctor said all this problem with scarring is related to the intubation tube that was down her throat for those first few weeks. The throat is rubbed raw internally and as it begins to heal all kinds of things can happen…like scar tissue.

      My mom is FREAKED OUT at the possibility of having a trach forever–I mean, who wouldn’t be?! Hopefully this most recent procedure will be her last, but the doctor will give us no guarantees. (Did I really expect him to anyways??) I just want to arm her with input from the GBS community about people who may have the same story as she does, but have perhaps overcome it.

      Have you had a trach?
      How long did you have it?
      Have you had multiple procedures to remove scar tissue?
      What has your doctor said about the cause of your own throat issues?

      Please start your post with the amount time, if any, that you had a trach in–kind of a mini poll…

    • Anonymous
      August 21, 2006 at 1:01 pm


      So, the docs are blaming the tubes in the first 2 weeks, as the culprit huh? Just when you think you’ve heard them all, something like this comes up. Well, then all that scaring should have been seen and delt with in January. Who scoped the situation? That would be the first doc I’d have a conversation with. If tubes did damage like they say, it would have shown up at the time in January. Think about this. Everything looked good in January, trach was removed, and everything was proceeding just like it should. Here’s what needs to be brought to the table. How was healing, and care of the wound site looked at and done, during the weeks after first removal? How about the second time? You should see my trach scar. Looks like a divot off Tiger Woods’ 2 iron shots out of the rough. All because of the care an attention I didn’t get when no doctors were around. Not one doctor ever examined my wound site. Only nurses did. Doc strolls in for 5 minutes, sees I’m still alive, and walks out. Never touched me or a bandage around my neck after removal. I’ll put my grocery money on the fact that the surgen never once followed up to see the outcome of his own work. I’ve has 5 major operations since my onset of GBS since I got out of hospital and into my home. Two were because feeding tube hole sites didn’t heal properly. Problem was, nobody looks at this aspect. Same with my trach site. Why it looks so bad, and why my voice is impacted. There is a protocal, or proceedure for just this problem about caring for wound sites and how to heal them up better to prevent more scarring. I know, because I had that protocal prescribed. The nurses just wouldn’t take the time to do it. I’ve paid ever since for that.

    • Anonymous
      August 23, 2006 at 3:24 pm

      [FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][COLOR=darkorchid]Intubation & trach: June 22, 2000[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
      [FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][COLOR=#9932cc]Length of intubation: approx. 3 weeks[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
      [FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][COLOR=#9932cc]Length of trach: approx. 4 weeks[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
      [FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][COLOR=#9932cc]Scar tissue never removed.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
      [FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][COLOR=darkorchid]Just a bit shocked your mom still has her trach. She must have had major scar tissue build up that she needed surgery to remove it. Best of luck to her![/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
      [FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][COLOR=#9932cc]In regards to my scar tissue, it is there. I have difficulty swallowing large pieces of anything, so I take small bites and chew well, swallowing with something to drink. [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
      [FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][COLOR=#9932cc]It is common sense that scar tissue would form around the tube and trach. When you look at my avatar, you will see an indentation in my throat. My GBS battle scar. [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
      [FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3][COLOR=#9932cc]Wish I was going to the Symposium. We could have an impromptu Tiger Woods’ Deepest Divot Contest.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

    • August 28, 2006 at 9:53 pm

      I had a trach tube in for two months but it healed very quickly once it was removed. Now five months later I can’t even find the scar. Perhaps I was lucky.