After a Single Stage CTR Surgery
Your child will be cared for and closely watched in the intensive care unit (ICU) after surgery. The ICU doctors will monitor your child's total care while the ENT doctors will care for the airway. While your child is in the ICU, medications may be given to help prevent him from pulling out his breathing tube. These medications make him sleepy but comfortable. Your child may require a ventilator to help with his breathing, especially if he is sedated from the medication required.
Before the breathing tube is removed, your child will return to the operating room for a micro laryngoscopy and bronchoscopy (MLB) to see how well the airway is healing. Your ENT doctor will decide when the breathing tube should be removed.
Once the breathing tube is removed, your child's breathing will be closely monitored. When the medications that make your child sleepy are stopped, some children experience jitteriness or slight unsteadiness (also called withdrawal) for a short period.
Your ENT doctor will decide when the next MLB is needed, usually before discharge. Once breathing is stable, your child will be transferred to a high acuity unit (also called the airway unit) for monitoring. As your child continues to progress with breathing easily, tolerating feedings and healing overall, she will be cared for in the hospital until ready for discharge.
After a Double Stage CTR Surgery
Your child will be cared for and closely monitored on the airway unit after surgery. Children with a stent or T-tube often have difficulty swallowing after the surgery. A speech therapist will work with your child to assist with swallowing and eating after the surgery.
You will need to learn how to care for your child's tracheotomy tube or T-tube and demonstrate your knowledge. You should feel comfortable with this care before going home.
Arrangements will be made for any equipment you will need to care for your child at home before you leave the hospital. The ENT doctor will decide when another MLB will be scheduled after discharge.