Head and neck cancer

A place for people affected by head and neck cancers, including oral, throat , larynx (voice box), salivary glands, middle ear, and sinus and nasopharyngeal cancer. Support one another, ask questions, and share experiences.


Posted by

Last week my Dad had a 14 hour op to remove cancer in his jaw and tongue.  A flap was created.  He has a peg line in and has a tracheotomy in place.  They are planning on discharging him next week with the Tracheotomy and PEG line in situ.

The Hospital have informed us that the care of the tracheotomy is down to my Mum (and us the family) and are giving us training as to the care.  We have been informed that we will not have the assistance of district nurses as they "don't really know a lot about them"

My Mum is terrified.  Terrified of being responsible for this.  She also works full time too.

Does  anyone have any advice?  Is there is some help I can access that I am missing?  We did consider a private nurse but as its for a minimum of 4 months the costs will be very high.

Thank you all

Posted by

Hello NPress, it sounds similar to what I have been through, I think I was in hospital for two weeks after my operation and was sent home with mine still in. From what I remember it did not cause any problems, they just feel uncomfortable. As long as he does not need suctioning things should be ok, normally they are left in to keep the hole (stoma ) open until it's healed up as they can close up in some cases. I don't think mine was left in there very long maybe a week or two and was removed in the hospital once they were happy. If i was your I would try it and if you don't feel comfortable then go back and see his consultant. Was there any one part of it you were worried about as i might be able to answer the question, My trachie was done about 8/9 years ago so maybe times have changed in patient care. Wishing you all the best and hope it all goes well, take care.

                                                                                                   Chris x 

Its sometimes not easy but its worth it !                Click here to find out more

Posted by

I would get in touch with the GP and district nurse service anyway. Whilst the nurses may not be expert on tracheostomy they are brilliant on general wound/post-op care, and will know if, for example, there is any infection around the operation site. Also, ask the Macmillan team if they can provide any ideas support. And check whether you or your family have any potential support provision from charities associated with the industries or sectors they work in. We only found out after the event that my husband could have accessed loads of support via the Electrical Industries Charity, which is there for anyone (and their close family) who have ever worked in the electricity sector. Lots of industries have these charities and benevolent societies, and they are often under-utilised.

Posted by

The other thing you could try is the nurse at your GP surgery, I didn't take mine home but had to have the dressings changed regularly and I am a wimp so I asked and they did it, even got in the dressings the hospital used so well worth a try.

Posted by


My dad had the same operation few weeks ago. I hope you find a solution about the nurse. I would like to know about your experience about it, as I understand we are going probably through the same moments..