Tracheal reconstruction by esophageal interposition: an experimental study

Ann Thorac Surg. 1990 Jun;49(6):951-4. doi: 10.1016/0003-4975(90)90873-5.


The purpose of this study was to assess the possibility of reconstructing a circumferential tracheal defect with autogenous esophagus. In 6 mongrel dogs, a circumferential defect involving seven rings of the cervical trachea was reconstructed by interposing pedicled esophagus. A silicone T tube was used as a stent. The vertical limb of the T tube (usually referred to as the horizontal limb when used in humans) was cut shorter after the cervical wound had healed well, and it eventually was buried subcutaneously. Two dogs died 36 days after operation, and 1 died 28 weeks after operation. In no dog was the cause of death related to the operation or to a respiratory tract complication. Two dogs were put to death 4 weeks and 32 weeks after operation. They were well until then, and all the anastomoses between the trachea and the esophagus had healed fully without formation of granulation tissue. One dog is alive and well 14 months after operation. The vertical limb of the T tube retracted into the subcutaneous space, and there is no open cervical wound. Esophageal interposition might be a feasible technique for tracheal replacement in select groups of patients.

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Equipment Design
  • Esophagus / pathology
  • Esophagus / transplantation*
  • Intubation / instrumentation
  • Silicones
  • Stents
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Trachea / pathology
  • Trachea / surgery*


  • Silicones