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Am Surg. 2005 Apr;71(4):289-91.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic division of vascular rings in pediatric patients.

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Division of Pediatric Surgery, Joseph B Whitehead Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


Vascular rings are usually repaired via left thoracotomy. We report our series of pediatric patients with vascular rings that were repaired thoracoscopically. From February 2002 to September 2004, 13 patients underwent video-assisted thoracoscopic surgical techniques (VATS) division of their vascular ring. Chest magnetic resonance arterography (MRA) and/or computed tomographic arteriography (CTA) were used to evaluate the vascular ring in most patients. Patients were chosen for VATS repair based on surgeon's choice and type of vascular ring. Data are expressed as mean +/- SD. The Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Institutional Review Board approved this retrospective chart review. Age and weight was 1.5 +/- 1.8 years (range: 4 months - 17 years) and 16.0 +/- 12.5 kg (range: 6.0 - 22.1 kg), respectively (n = 13). Associated diseases included congenital heart disease (n = 2). Symptoms included respiratory complaints (n = 6), dysphagia (n = 2), dysphagia and shortness of breath (n = 1), pneumonia (n = 2), tracheal deviation (n = 1), and one patient was asymptomatic. Vascular ring types included double aortic arch (n = 4) and right aortic arch with an aberrant left subclavian artery and a left ligamentum arteriosum (n = 9). Operating time was 70 +/- 20 minutes (range: 46 - 122 minutes). One patient had to be opened because of a large arch. Length of stay was 1.9 +/- 0.9 days (range: 1 - 3 days). There were no complications, and all patients improved clinically at follow-up. Thoracoscopic repair of certain types of vascular rings seems to be safe and effective in children. More patients, however, need to be studied.

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