Originally published on November 23, 2010

J.C. asks, “How often should a tracheostomy tube be changed?

Answer: Tracheostomy tubes should be routinely changed on a regular basis to prevent infection and other complications; and in the case of children, to keep up with their growth and development.

Most manufacturers recommend changing their tubes every 30-60 days. Tube changes can be done during an office visit, but many patients prefer to change the tube at home, either by themselves or a caregiver. Some change their tube weekly or biweekly, and some change the tube daily, rotating between two different tubes.

Failure to change the tube on a regular basis can result in severe infection, tube obstruction, or tracheitis.