Tokuda Hospital Sofia


For the 1st time in Bulgaria: Specialists constructed and implanted a trachea

14 august 2017

A team headed by Dr. Minchev, Head of the Thoracic Surgery at Acibadem City Clinic performed a 10-hour surgery of placing the unique autotransplant

A unique surgery – a trachea substitution of a whole organ made of autologous grafts constructed and implanted, was performed at Acibadem City Clinic Tokuda. The 10-hour intervention was carried out by teams of 4 specialties – in the fields of Chest Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery and ENT, guided by Dr. Tsvetan Minchev. He is Head of the Tokuda Thoracic Surgery Department, one of the leading structures in the country in surgical treatment of lung and thoracic diseases with a very large volume and complexity.

The surgeons created and placed an autotransplant – an organ made of its own tissues to replace the trachea affected by cancer and to now allow the patient breathe independently. For the first time in the world, surgeons have performed such a surgery where besides the construction of a new trachea, the malignant diseases of the esophagus, thyroid gland and parathyroid glands have been removed. The patient has also secondary changes caused by larynx cancer further affecting the trachea and the organs around it – the mediastinum, esophagus, lymph and other glands. The advancement of the cancer into the trachea gradually leads to an inability for normal breathing and a state incompatible with life.

“We managed to construct and implant the trachea with the help of tissue from the arm and cartilage from the patient's ribs. The surgery was a combination of several surgical stages where we removed other organs affected by the metastatic cancer. We have given the patient the chance to breathe independently”, Dr. Minchev explained the details of the unique surgery.

The autotransplant is 7 cm in length – like a normal trachea, and it was implanted with microscopic surgery using hand-feeding vessels connected to the mammary artery. Dr. Assen Kelchev from the Tokuda Cardiac Surgery Department joined in in the complex implantation and the vascular connection. Visiting surgeon Assoc. Prof. Margarita Kateva was actively involved in the autotransplant “creation”.

Surgeries of reconstruction and implantation of the trachea are very few worldwide, and the complexity and volume of surgery at Acibadem City Clinic Tokuda Hospital makes it unique on a global level. This method is also the only alternative in such cases, as immunosuppressive therapy after a possible full-donor tracheal transplantation increases the risk of cancer recurrence.

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Hospital location

51B Nikola Y. Vaptsarov Blvd., Sofia, 1407 (if you drive, the entrance is from Atanas Dukov str.)

The hospital has a parking lot for patients and visitors. The first 30 min. are free of charge, every next hour is 3BGN/hrs.
IMPORTANT! Have in mind that the parking lot is very busy Monday to Friday between 10.00 and 14.00. The hospital team will appreciate if those whose health condition allow, take the drop off option without parking or use other transport means or alternative parking lots in the area.

Public transport:
Buses: №88, 120

Metro lines: You can get off at James Bourchier or Vitosha metro station and walk to the hospital.


From the Central Railway Station

Bus: take bus #305 and get off at Romanian Embassy stop, then transfer to bus #120 to Tokuda Hospital stop.

Metro: Take metro line Nadezda-Lozenetz and get off either at James Bourchier or Vitosha metro station, then walk to the hospital.