Successful resection of cervical tracheostenosis with primary repair was reported in 1884 by Colley.1 Experimental resection and reconstruction of the trachea were also mentioned.
In 1940, or 56 years later, renewed interest in partial circumferential (window excision) tracheal replacement was initiated by the investigations of Taffel.2 Shortly thereafter, experimental efforts were directed toward replacement of tubular tracheal defects.3,4 A combination of developments was probably responsible for this interest. In addition to the increasing use of endotracheal anesthesia for intrathoracic procedures, there occurred a realization by some pathologists and surgeons that the group of primary tracheobronchial neoplasms variously termed carcinoid tumors, bronchial adenomas, or salivary gland tumors of the trachea were in fact slowly invasive, malignant neoplasms. The first reported successful tubular excision and prosthetic replacement of the human trachea was carried out in such an instance by Belsey5 in 1945. The patient had been subjected to a window-type excision of