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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. d.c.vanderzee@umcutrecht.nl

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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.

METHODS:

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

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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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