A tracheotomy is a surgical procedure in which a temporary or permanent hole is created in the neck so that an external tube can be inserted into the trachea, thereby allowing air to bypass a blockage located higher up in the airway. Patients who undergo a tracheotomy will breathe through this tube rather than through their mouth and nose. This kind of surgery is employed in an emergency situation following a traumatic accident and in cases where a neck tumor or inflammation has caused the airway to become blocked. In cases where a non-emergency tracheotomy is performed, a hospital stay of up to five days may be required. Follow-up care often includes chest x-rays to verify that the breathing tube is maintaining its proper position and that no infection is present. Patients and their caregivers are provided instructions and in-home care assistance to ensure that the tracheostomy tube can continue working properly.