Tracheal replacement: state of the art and novel perspectives
Non-malignant and malignant obstruction of the tracheal airway causes significant morbidity and mortality. With increased use of artificial airways, benign and iatrogenic complications are increasing. A tracheal stenosis that is less than 5 cm in length can be resected with end-to-end anastomosis. Longer tracheal lesions can be treated in a palliative way by placement of a stent to secure airway lumen patency. The management of tracheal defects is an evolving field. Tracheal transplantation and tracheal regeneration may bring major treatment advances to cases with long-segment tracheal involvement. This review examines the current possibilities and future prospects in the area of tracheal transplantation and regeneration.