Ciliated tracheal epithelium is arranged in a polarized pattern oriented according to the inferior-superior axis of the trachea and is responsible for the transport of mucus toward the larynx. In this study, ciliary beat orientation and the influence of external factors on mucociliary clearance direction were studied in rabbit inverted cervical tracheas. The animals displayed normal respiration postoperatively. After 16 weeks, airway clearance was studied by observation of the movement of silicone particles placed in the inverted segment and in normal parts of the ciliated epithelium. Cilia exhibited unidirectional and coordinated movement within inverted tracheal segments. As shown by the direction of effective flow produced by beating cilia and by scanning electron microscopy, the cilia in the inverted segment beat in the opposite direction from the cilia in the remainder of the trachea. This study demonstrated that ciliary orientation is irreversibly determined, but the reversal of ciliary beating within the cervical trachea had no adverse effects on the survival of the animals.