Despite omentopexy of the bronchial anastomosis, donor airway ischemia remains a problem after lung transplantation. This study examined the hypothesis that surface abrasion and topical application of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) would enhance omental revascularization of trachea in a rabbit heterotopic autograft model. Tracheal segments were excised, primary tracheal anastomoses performed, and the segments placed in the peritoneal cavity wrapped in omentum. Animals were randomized to one of six groups according to tracheal segment treatment: control, surgical abrasion, Surgicel wrap with topical bFGF, Surgicel wrap with bFGF vehicle, Gelfoam wrap with bFGF, and topical bFGF alone. One week later, animals were heparinized, perfused with Aquablak dye, and killed. Tracheal segments were excised and sectioned for light microscopic quantitative assessment of viability and dye perfusion. There was no significant improvement in viability or perfusion between abraded tracheal segments or segments treated with bFGF/Gelfoam or bFGF alone when compared with control segments. Airways wrapped in Surgicel had significantly greater ischemic injury compared with the control group, regardless of bFGF application. Neither surgical abrasion nor topical bFGF increased omental revascularization of transplanted tracheal segments after 7 days.