A team of Mount Sinai surgeons has performed the world’s first human tracheal transplant—an achievement that has the potential to save the lives of thousands of patients around the world who have tracheal birth defects, untreatable airway diseases, burns, tumors, or severe tracheal damage from intubation, including those who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 and placed on a ventilator. Until now, no long-term treatment existed for patients with long-segment tracheal damage, and thousands of adults and children died each year as a result.
The landmark 18-hour procedure took place on Wednesday, January 13, and was led by surgeon-scientist Eric M. Genden, MD, MHCA, FACS, the Isidore Friesner Professor and Chair of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery for the Mount Sinai Health System, and Professor of Neurosurgery and Immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The complex surgery involved a team of more than 50 specialists, including surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and residents.
Dr. Isidore Friesner Professor and Chair of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs Professor of Neurosurgery, and Immunology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai