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World J Surg. 2012 Sep;36(9):2093-7. doi: 10.1007/s00268-012-1651-8.

Learning curve of thoracoscopic repair of esophageal atresia.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery KE.04.140.5, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Centre Utrecht, P. O. Box 85090, 3508 AB Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Thoracoscopic repair of esophageal atresia is considered to be one of the more advanced pediatric surgical procedures, and it undoubtedly has a learning curve. This is a single-center study that was designed to determine the learning curve of thoracoscopic repair of esophageal atresia.


The study involved comparison of the first and second five-year outcomes of thoracoscopic esophageal atresia repair.


The demographics of the two groups were comparable. There was a remarkable reduction of postoperative leakage or stenosis, and recurrence of fistulae, in spite of the fact that nowadays the procedure is mainly performed by young staff members and fellows.


There is a considerable learning curve for thoracoscopic repair of esophageal atresia. Centers with the ambition to start up a program for thoracoscopic repair of esophageal atresia should do so with the guidance of experienced centers.

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