Glossary of commonly used medical terms
Date Posted: 21.03.2012
Artificial Airway: Another word for tracheostomy tube
Artificial Nose: Also called HME (heat and moisture exchanger) A device that fits on your tube to warm and moisten the air you breathe.
Bronchoscopy: An examination of the inside of the trachea and of the large air passages leading to the lungs.
Cyst: A fluid-filled swelling which may occur in the larynx (voice box) and obstruct breathing.
Cuff: The inflatable balloon on some tracheostomy tubes.
Decannulation: This is the term used for removing a tracheostomy tube.
Epiglottis: A flap of cartilage situated immediately behind the root of the tongue. It covers the entrance to the larynx (voice box) during swallowing to stop food or fluid going down the wrong way and getting into the lungs.
Granulation: The presence of excess new tissue or scar tissue
Incision: A cut made during a surgical operation
Lumen: Inside part of the tube, where the air goes in and out.
Larynx: term used to describe the voice box or Adam's apple. It has two important functions: Airway protection and production of voice.
Laryngomalacia: This is a term to describe “ noisy breathing”, which some babies present with after birth. It may cause floppiness of the voice box.
Laryngotracheobronchitis (‘croup') A condition that causes the larynx and tracheobronchial tree to become inflamed and reduces the airway size.
Laryngotracheal reconstruction (LTR) This is an operation sometimes performed to enlarge (widen) an area of narrowing in the upper trachea, often using a piece of rib cartilage.
Microlaryngoscopy: The examination of the inside of the larynx using a microscope.
MLB: Microlaryngoscopy and bronchoscopy.
Mucus: slippery fluid that's produced in the lungs and windpipe.
Neck Flange: The part of the tracheostomy where you attach the tracheostomy ties or tube holder.
Obturator: The semi-rigid stick that is inserted into the tracheostomy tube prior to insertion to help guide it into the opening in the neck.
Papilloma: A type of wart. If it grows very big or there are a lot of them they may interfere with the voice or breathing.
Respiratory tract: Consists of the air passageways involved in breathing. It includes the nose, larynx, trachea and lungs.
Secretions: Another word for mucus.
Stoma: This term is used to describe the opening in the neck where the tracheostomy tube is inserted.
Stridor: Noisy breathing.
Subglottic stenosis: An abnormal narrowing of the trachea below the glottis(vocal chord)
Trachea: Also known as windpipe. It is a semi rigid structure that extends from the larynx to the lungs.
Tracheomalacia: An area of softening of the trachea which may collapse inwards as the child breathes and may obstruct breathing.
Tracheotomy: The surgical opening of the trachea through the neck.
Tracheostomy: The completed opening leaving an artificial airway.