Summary: one of the main problems arising from the surgical treatment of tracheal lesions is the existing limitation in the length of segment that can be resected. Currently, a maximum of 50% of the trachea can be safely removed. More extensive lesions cannot benefit from this treatment and alternative techniques must be used, which are palliative in most cases. The interposition of an element which substitutes the segment of resected trachea is a possible solution for this problem.
An experimental animal study has been conducted, substituting tracheal segments varying in length with cylindrical polytetrafluoroethylene prostheses. Later, a follow-up was done and the animals were sacrificed to study histological changes.
The results show the technical possibility of substituting the airway with segments of prosthetic material. In the monitoring of the animals, there seems to be a direct relationship between the length of the implant and the appearance of tracheal stenosis at the implant site, both in the macroscopic morphological studies and the studies completed with optical microscopy.
However, for the time being, perioperative mortality is high and, although it can be attributed to the learning curve, applying the results to possible clinical practice is not recommended.