Last reviewed 01/2018

The trachea, in lay terms 'windpipe', is the respiratory passageway from the larynx in the neck to the main bronchi to each lung formed from its bifurcation within the thorax.

The trachea may be the site of congenital fistulae or acquired perforation. It is a preferred site for securing an airway e.g. during anaesthesia with an endotracheal tube or for upper airway obstruction where a tracheostomy is an alternative.