Your artificial airway
A tracheostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening through the neck into the windpipe. There is still a connection from the nose or mouth to the lungs. The tracheostomy can be short-term or permanent.
A laryngectomy is the surgical removal of the larynx, completely and permanently. The remaining trachea is stitched to the anterior neck. There is no connection from the nose or mouth to the lungs. Laryngectomy patients are known as Neck Breathers that is individuals who breathe through a neck stoma.
Before your surgery the air reaching your lungs was warmed, moistened and cleaned as it passed through your nose and upper airways. When you breathe in through your stoma, the air is drier and colder than your lungs are used to and the air may also contain particles of dust which can irritate your lungs. The dry air can make your airways produce mucus, this mucus can collect around your stoma and get crusty. To protect your stoma and your airways try to avoid extreme temperatures, fumes from traffic or work places, smoke and dust.