Val Kilmer has mostly kept his neck covered in public since being hospitalized in January

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated December 04, 2015 01:45 PM
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Less than two months after declaring that he has “no tumor or infection of any kind,” Val Kilmer was spotted out with what appears to be a tracheostomy tube, sparking new concerns about the Top Gun star’s health.

In images that sufaced Friday, the 55-year-old star could be seen with a device around his neck, a red bandana hanging loosely below it.

Kilmer has appeared mostly covered up in recent months, wearing scarves and shirts buttoned tightly around his neck.

On Nov. 25, the actor shared a photo of himself on Facebook with the area completely obscured by his clothing.

“I love reading in the sun,” he captioned the shot of himself in shades.

The actor, who has yet to address the recently spotted breathing aid, vehemently denied any health issues through the social media site back in October, dispelling rumors that he had a tumor after being spotted at the UCLA Medial Center.

“Thank you all for your love and support. There’s a rumor I’m unwell again and in hospital which is totally untrue. I was in to verify I have no tumor or infection of any kind which was verified by the very caring experts at UCLA,” he wrote on Facebook at the time.

Prior to Kilmer’s October visit, the actor was rushed to the hospital in January to undergo tests for a possible tumor.

“I have not had a tumor, or a tumor operations, or any operation I had a complication where the best way to receive care was to stay under the watchful eye of the UCLA ICU,” Kilmer told fans following his release from the medical center in February.

A tracheostomy is a surgically created hole through the front of the neck that leads into the windpipe and is needed mainly when health problems require use of a ventilator to breathe,” according to the Mayo Clinic. The hole is intended to provide a clear air passage to help those with impaired breathing.

According to the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, “a tracheostomy usually is temporary, although you can have one long term or even permanently. How long you have a tracheostomy depends on the condition that required you to get it and your overall health.”