INTRATHORACIC TRACHEAL RECONSTRUCTION WITH A COLLAGEN-CONJUGATED PROSTHESIS: EVALUATION OF THE EFFICACY OF OMENTAL WRAPPING


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Abstract

Reconstructions of the intrathoracic trachea in 24 dogs were done with the use of 50 mm long collagen-conjugated tracheal prostheses. Omental wrapping was also done in 14 of the dogs (omentopexy group) to evaluate the efficacy of this option in comparison with results in the other 10 dogs (control group). All 24 dogs had uneventful postoperative courses and were killed at 4 weeks or 3, 6, or 12 months after the operation. Better epithelialization and fewer complications, such as mesh exposure and luminal stenosis, were observed in the omentopexy group than in the control group. Angiography and analysis of regenerated blood vessels revealed that vessel ingrowth had started within 4 weeks and that vessel formation reached its maximal point within 6 to 12 months in the omentopexy group. In contrast, revascularization of the subepithelial region in the control group was poor even after 3 months, and vessel formation continued for as long as 12 months. The differences between the two groups were considered to be mainly a result of the speed of blood vessel ingrowth into the regenerated mucosa. We conclude that our prosthesis can be used safely for intrathoracic tracheal reconstruction and that omental wrapping is a useful supplementary method that reduces the occurrence of complications.

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