Human tracheal reconstruction with a composite radial forearm free flap and prosthesis

Ann Thorac Surg. 2006 Feb;81(2):714-6. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2004.12.009.


Reconstruction of large tracheal defects has been largely unsuccessful. We report a novel single-stage tracheal reconstruction for a 6.5-cm long defect involving the anterior two thirds of the tracheal circumference in a patient with deeply infiltrative thyroid cancer into the tracheal lumen. The reconstruction was completed using a conduit composed of a radial forearm free flap for lining with a combined PolyMax mesh (Synthes, Paoli, PA) and Hemashield vascular graft (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA) for rigid support. At a 6-month follow-up the patient has normal swallowing and preoperative voice quality, and she maintains a patent, non-stented airway.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Forearm / surgery
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods
  • Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Trachea / pathology*
  • Trachea / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome