Trans-tracheal oxygen therapy is a superior method of delivering oxygen directly into the lungs through a small, flexible catheter that passes from the lower neck into the trachea or windpipe. Most patients can have the small catheter installed in 15 to 20 minutes with only local anesthesia and without being hospitalized. The procedure is safe, causes little discomfort, and for many individuals is more effective in getting oxygen into the blood than nasal prongs. More oxygen in the blood means more activity, more energy and better health for most patients.
The placement of the catheter is guided by a small scope that is directed down through the nose into the windpipe. Through this scope interventional pulmonologists are able to watch where the needle is going to ensure that the catheter is in the proper position and to avoid complications such as bleeding, misplacement or puncturing the posterior wall of the windpipe.