Tracheal Allotransplantation-Lessons Learned

Indian J Plast Surg. 2020 Aug;53(2):306-308. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1716420. Epub 2020 Aug 30.


Reconstruction of long tracheal defects still proves to be a challenge. Free fasciocutaneous flaps with cartilaginous struts or an allotransplant trachea have been reported but not been widely performed. This article reports with the experience of using a tracheal allotransplant in such a defect. A 43-year-old lady presented with adenoid cystic carcinoma involving the entire trachea from subglottic area up to the carina, leading to a life-threatening airway occlusion. After preliminary stenting, allotransplant trachea obtained from a brain-dead individual was revascularized in the forearm of the patient after mechanical decellularization to reduce the immune load and fulfil the need for immunosuppression in the background of active cancer. Subsequently, the trachea and larynx were resected. The vascularized neotrachea was transferred successfully into the neck. The patient did well initially but succumbed to a fatal hemorrhage due to innominate vein aneurysmal rupture on the 22nd day after the transplant. The technical details of resection, fabrication of the neotrachea, its transfer, and the lessons learnt in this tracheal allotransplant are described.

Keywords: composite tissue allotransplantation; revascularization; tracheal allotransplantation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

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Financial Support No financial support was taken for this article, and there are no financial disclosures for any of the authors.