Humanitas recently hosted an important trachea surgery on a patient with a chondrosarcoma in the initial stage. We spoke about this with Doctor Umberto Cariboni, Thoracic Surgery specialist, who led the surgery.
“Thanks to the help provided by Professor Marco Alloisio, Deputy Director of Specialist Surgeries and Thoracic Surgery, we performed a trachea surgery on a patient in his 60s with a chondrosarcoma in his trachea (a very rare tumour). This was the 17th case in the world. In fact, up to 2017, only 16 cases have been listed in the literature (Case Rep Oncol Med. 2017;2017:4524910)”, Doctor Cariboni says.

The Training with Professor Walter Klepetko and the Operation

“Before the operation, we evaluated the case surgically, with Professor Walter Klepetko, one of the foremost experts on thoracic surgery. The two anesthesiologists and colleagues of mine, Doctor Elena Costantini and Doctor Orazio Difrancesco, and I spent a training period with Professor Klepetko in Vienna. It is the global point of reference for trachea surgery. Due to the fact that it is a difficult surgery both from a surgical point of view and from an anesthesiologic one, it is performed in Italy only in a few, limited centres.

So, we performed the operation at Humanitas. The advanced surgery I deal with is performed in a traditional fashion. Thus, we performed a cervical incision (cervicotomy), associated with a partial sternotomy. Therefore, this allowed the safe isolation of the trachea from the complex structures surrounding it. Subsequentlywe removed the two tracheal rings, where the tumour was, and then we anaesthetized the tracheal stumps. We were able to perform this surgery thanks to Doctor Costantini, anesthesiologist, whose presence in this kind of surgeries is paramount for the control of the patient’s airway, and thanks to the presence of the dedicated nursing team.

A teamwork that shares every needed field of expertise is required for such complex surgeries. Thus, the success of the operation depends not on an individual, but on the whole team.

Trachea surgery at Humanitas

“Now we aim to bring this kind of complex, multidisciplinary surgery to Humanitas. This will be the optimal environment where to develop this project, thanks to different specialists and their rich experiences”, Doctor Cariboni says.