A tracheostomy is a surgery done to create an opening into your child's windpipe below the level of the vocal cords. This is either done to bypass an upper obstruction like subglottic stenosis, or to provide a safer, long-term way to ventilate your child.

A removable tube is placed into the opening so your child can breathe. This surgery takes about an hour and your child remains in the ICU for at least a week while the opening heals around the tube.

The first tracheostomy tube change is done at the bedside by the ENT team after the first week.

When the initial medical conditions that required a child to have a tracheostomy have resolved, the tracheostomy tube  is removed. This procedure is called decannulation.