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Purpose of review: This review discusses the important advances in the reconstruction of airway wall defects resulting from stenosis and tumor resection.

Recent findings: Recent insights concerning regeneration, revascularization, and transplantation of the trachea are presented. The current study reviews tracheal transplantation as a new treatment modality.

Summary: This will enable wider application of tracheal allotransplantation for patients in need of complex reconstructive surgery for airway defects that are not amenable to standard methods of repair. Ongoing research suggests that tracheal allotransplantation may become available as a new treatment modality. Additional data are needed to define optimal withdrawal of immunosuppressants without loss of airway lumen.

(C) 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.