Phase 1 – Patient Screening
During this phase, you will have an opportunity to learn about the benefits and risks associated with TTOT. The doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and perhaps other people who have gone through the TTOT procedure will be available to answer your questions. The care team will perform a physical exam, take your medical history, and determine whether you are a good candidate to receive TTOT.
Phase 2 – The TTOT Procedure
If your doctor feels you are a candidate, you will be scheduled for the procedure. There are two types of procedures to insert the catheter into your neck. One of them requires an overnight stay, where the catheter is placed the same day. The other procedure uses a stent to create the hole for the catheter, and then a return appointment happens about a week later for the catheter to be placed.
Phase 3 – Care while the TTOT tract is healing
Once the catheter has been placed, the proper care and cleaning of the tract opening, catheter and hose is very important. The surrounding area will still be healing, so the catheter will be cleaned in place without removing it. Your care team may help remove mucus for you in the first several weeks until the tract has healed and you are able to remove the catheter yourself.
Phase 4 – Care when the TTOT tract has healed
Depending on the type of TTOT procedure performed, your doctor will decide when your tract has fully healed. Once it has healed, you will be instructed on how to properly remove your catheter for cleaning. It’s important to follow the cleaning schedule you and your doctor create, as the catheter is a medical device. The catheter will need to be replaced with a new one every so often. You will also need to see your care team for follow-up visits.
National Jewish Health offers a transtracheal oxygen program. Our care team can evaluate and manage patients for whom transtracheal oxygen may be a good option for their long-term oxygen therapy. Talk with your health care provider if you have questions or are interested in TTOT.