A man with a hole in his throat (Not what you might be thinking and could be TMI)

Until last week we had a summer intern at our office, who just left to start his senior year at USC. This is a kid who’s way too young to have contracted throat cancer even if he did smoke, which he doesn’t. It follows that he hasn’t experienced a laryngectomy or other major throat surgery. And his voice sounds completely normal.

So I couldn’t help noticing that he had a little hole in his neck, right in the middle between the ends of the two collarbones, that looked like it was about one or two inches deep and just wide enough that he could have stuck his finger into. And so I’m wondering if that’s just his natural physiognomy, or if something unusual happened to him, like an accident, that caused him to undergo some sort of surgery.

There’s a young girl (8 or 9 years old) at my church with a hole in her throat. She has a tube in front of it, and she breathes through it. I don’t know her specific condition, but it’s possible that this man had the same thing she does and that eventually the hole is not necessary.

I don’t know the technical terms, but if you you can’t breath, and mouth to mouth won’t work, they cut a hole in you neck and put air in that way… It happens sometimes to people with asthma, I think.


Close. The correct term is actually tracheostomy.

tra·che·os·to·my __ (P)Pronunciation Key(trk-st-m)
n. pl. tra·che·os·to·mies

  1. Surgical construction of an opening in the trachea for the insertion of a catheter or tube to facilitate breathing.
  2. The opening so made.

tra·che·ot·o·my __ (P)Pronunciation Key(trk-t-m)
n. pl. tra·che·ot·o·mies

Surgical incision of the trachea through the neck, as to make an artificial opening for breathing.

…from on-line dictionary.

You win, I win? :slight_smile:

The word “tracheotomy” isn’t even listed in this online medical encyclopaedia.

Ack! Hit submit too soon. Anyway, IIRC, the difference between the two is that a tracheotomy is a temporary incision requiring the insertion of a tube, while a tracheostomy is a permanent opening with no tube.

Paging Dr. Qadgop.

One possible explanation for the ostomy you described is for relief of obstructive sleep apnea. However, since the sleep apnea normally only happens when asleep, the hole is capped during the day. A friend had such a treatment and covered the hole and cap during the day by always wearing some snazzy Ascot(?) tie.

My own sleep apnea was not quite bad enough to warrant an ostomy, so I had the nose, mouth and throat surgery. The recovery was the most miserable thing I have ever endured.

If the wholes are small and there are two of them it could be a piercing. That is a fairly common one to do at the base of the neck. It looks kind of like a necklace/pendant without the rest of the necklace after it is done.

No, it definitely wasn’t for cosmetic reasons. This guy strikes one as being far to conservative in his taste for such neck adornments.

Aaaaagghhhh, that’s “far TOO conservative”

Y’know, I’ve heard Joan Collins has the same thing.

But hers is from too many face lifts.

Actually, that’s her belly button.

WebMD does.

“otomy” is to cut into “ostomy” is the hole the cutting produced. Tracheostomy is used to discribe the hole left after one has preformed a Tracheotomy.
There are a number of reasons one might have a trach even babies get. In a young adult, trauma is the most likely reason.