Windpipe surgery success

  • Posted

Posted 25/07/2012

It was reported today that the first child to have ground breaking surgery to rebuild his windpipe is doing very well. He is now 13, growing normally and there is no sign of rejection.

Ciaran Finn-Lynch had been born with problems causing breathing difficulties which had necessitated major surgery to reconstruct his airways only six days after his birth. In 2010 he underwent pioneering surgery at Great Ormond Street when the metal tubes that until then had been used to hold his airway open were replaced with a donor windpipe. Before it was implanted it had been stripped of all the donor’s cells leaving only the fundamental three dimensional web of collagen. Once transplanted this was sprayed with Ciaran’s own stem cells previously harvested from his bone marrow with the hope that these cells which can become any other type of cell, would coat the transplanted windpipe and prevent rejection. This type of surgery had only been tried once before in Spain on an adult.

So far, Ciaran is doing very well much to the delight of his medical team. However it has been pointed out that this is still at the cutting edge of medicine and that many challenges remain.

Trefine Maynard, a clinical negligence solicitor with Ashtons Legal says: ”This is very exciting news as, if this type of treatment can be perfected, it may provide one answer to at least some forms of transplant surgery. The main problems all transplant patients face is firstly the shortage of donor organs and then the constant danger of rejection together with the risks entailed with the anti-rejection drugs they have to take. It is heartening to hear a story that gives real hope of new breakthroughs in future medical treatment. In this age of financial constraints and budget cut backs we must hope that money to fund this research is not withdrawn. “   


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