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A Personal Experience

My experience with TransTrache oxygen.
From Kathie in Ulm, Montana

I had the initial TransTrache device put in on April 24, 2002. It was done by an ENT doc in the bronch lab. Yep, little scared and very nervous.  Local anesthetic after position for the trache was marked. Lots of pressure felt on my throat but no pain during the procedure.

Given material on what to watch for and sent home after about 30 minutes. I had some air leakage around the site when I coughed but very slight discomfort which acetaminophen relieved. The first night I coughed and coughed but finally took some codeine cough syrup, which quieted the cough.

The chain around my neck bothered me more than anything (it's metal) so I changed it for a plastic one, which mostly solved that problem. I coughed up more mucus than normal for me and had that something in the throat feeling. I cleaned around the site twice a day with peroxide. I didn't have any problems taking a shower but was told not to swim, jump in the hot tub or take a bath until the site healed!

After two weeks, the initial device was replaced with a TransTrache Scoop 1 and started receiving oxygen via the TransTrache. They tried one of those six minute walks to adjust the flow and, per usual, I failed it! <LOL> I'm one of those that maintains "normal" sats until I move, then it drops to the 60's and 70's until the oxygen catches up. So I basically got told to monitor my sats and adjust the flow accordingly.

After getting used to the oxygen coming thru the TransTrache, it caused a dry throat feeling. I cleaned the TransTrache in place twice a day with saline (the same saline in the pink tubes that is mixed with the neb treatments) and this rod that comes with the TransTrache kit. Bit of a weird feeling during the cleaning and it causes a cough reflex but NO MORE NOSE HOSE!

After another month or so, I went back and was shown how to change the TransTrache. You get a kit that had two TransTrache's and cleaning rods. The bronch lab was pushing me to use the TransTrache Scoop 2 but it has to be removed twice a day and cleaned compared to the Scoop 1 which can be cleaned in place, though it is recommend to remove it once a day so you are alternating the TransTrache's.

I've been told that it increases infections, costs to much, etc. I just have Medicare A & B and my oxygen provider said I had to pay for the TransTraches--were they ever wrong. The TransTrache people are the best support. They sent me a letter to give to my provider which ended their trying to charge me extra. The TransTrache counts as an oxygen delivery device, just like a nasal cannula.

They have a website at

I've had no infections since using the TransTrache. Common sense tells that you should practice good hygiene around the site and anything else for that matter! I haven't managed to accidentally remove it but replacing it is
no more difficult than putting a partial denture in.

One thing that I have noticed--I don't float like I used to. In the hot tub I used to have to do a bunch of blowing out to remain seated but now I stay put. Doc says it "might reduce CO2 build up and air retention in the lungs from overbreathing." Bunk--I say it does!  By the way--C tanks can be buckled into a child life preserver for the swimmers out there

I can't walk any faster on the dreadmill but my sats stay put on LESS liter flow. Before 6 L/M at 2 mph and now 3 to 4 L/M at 2 mph. I don't have as many tanks delivered. My brain feels clearer and I no longer feel handicapped because of that nasal cannula hanging on my face.

My O2 tank is carried in a shoulder bag and the tubing is under the clothing. I sometimes wear a scarf to cover the TransTrache but even without covering, it is a lot less visible than that nose hose. Most people look at your face, not your throat.

So--to all of you who have contemplated doing this--DO IT.

To me it spells FREEDOM.

All Disclaimers Apply

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Last modified: June 17, 2002