BMC Surg. 2022 Jul 25;22(1):285. doi: 10.1186/s12893-022-01738-1.
BACKGROUND: Esophageal atresia (EA) is often associated with tracheomalacia (TM). The severity of TM symptoms varies widely, with serious cases requiring prolonged respiratory support and surgical treatment. Although we performed thoracoscopic posterior tracheopexy (TPT) during primary EA repair to prevent or reduce the symptoms of TM, few studies have investigated the safety and effectiveness of TPT during primary EA repair. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of TPT in neonates.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the records of all patients diagnosed with TM who underwent primary thoracoscopic EA repair between 2013 and 2020 at the Nagoya University Hospital. Patients were divided into two groups: TPT (TPT group) and without TPT (control group). TPT has been performed in all patients with EA complicated by TM since 2020. We compared patient backgrounds, surgical outcomes, postoperative complications, and treatment efficacy.
RESULTS: Of the 22 patients reviewed, eight were in the TPT group and 14 were in the control group. There were no statistically significant differences in the surgical outcomes between the groups (operation time: p = 0.31; blood loss: p = 0.83; time to extubation: p = 0.30; time to start enteral feeding: p = 0.19; time to start oral feeding: p = 0.43). Conversion to open thoracotomy was not performed in any case. The median operative time required for posterior tracheopexy was 10 (8-15) min. There were no statistically significant differences in postoperative complications between the groups (chylothorax: p = 0.36; leakage: p = 1.00; stricture: p = 0.53). The respiratory dependence rate 30 days postoperative (2 [25%] vs. 11 [79%], p = 0.03) and the ratio of the lateral and anterior-posterior diameter of the trachea (LAR) were significantly lower in the TPT group (1.83 [1.66-2.78] vs. 3.59 [1.80-7.70], p = 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: TPT during primary EA repair for treatment of TM significantly lowered respiratory dependence rate at 30 days postoperative without increasing the risk of postoperative complications. This study suggested that TPT could improve TM associated with EA.