A Life-Changing Procedure When your child has complex medical needs and a diagnosis of a serious illness, their many specialists may offer differing treatment options and opinions. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by this, especially if the procedure being recommended is life-changing. Tracheostomy is one of these. This guide is designed to help inform conversations between families and medical providers when a tracheostomy is being considered. As with most complex decision-making, parents and providers must work together so that you can fully understand all the components of the procedure, and the projected long-term outcomes and potential effects on daily life for your child and family. It is important to get input from the entire medical team, so that you can understand how the intervention will affect your child’s other systems and the family’s goals of care. Hopefully these conversations and the decision-making can occur over time, giving you the opportunity to gather information and ask questions. When there is no obvious right choice, it is all about the decision-making process.