Bioprosthetics and repair of complex aerodigestive defects
Aerodigestive defects involving the trachea, bronchi and esophagus are a result of prolonged intubation, operative complications, congenital defects, trauma, radiation and neoplastic disease. The vast majority of these defects may be repaired primarily. Rarely, due the size of the defect, underlying complexity, or unfavorable patient characteristics, primary repair is not possible. One alternative to primary repair is bioprosthetic repair. Materials such as acellular dermal matrix and aortic homograft have been used in a variety of applications, including closure of tracheal, bronchial and esophageal defects. Herein, we review the use of bioprosthetics in the repair of aerodigestive defects, along with the unique advantages and disadvantages of these repairs.