Foregut duplications: is there an advantage to thoracoscopic resection?
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PURPOSE: Thoracoscopy has an expanding role in the treatment of FD cysts (bronchogenic cysts and esophageal duplications). We examined this trend in our patients and reviewed our overall experience. METHODS: All charts of children undergoing surgery for foregut duplications (FDs) in 2 pediatric hospitals between 1992 and 2003 were retrospectively reviewed. Data gathered included age, weight, symptoms, diagnostic tests, operative technique, postoperative course, complications, and outcome. RESULTS: There were 39 children, with FD resected by thoracotomy in 21 patients, thoracoscopy in 11 patients (no conversions to open), cervical incision in 6 patients, and laparotomy in 1 patient for an FD near the gastroesophageal junction. Diagnosis was made by antenatal ultrasound in 7 cases. Four of these neonates had tachypnea or cough, and the rest were asymptomatic. Seventy-five percent of patients diagnosed postnatally presented with respiratory symptoms. Excision of isolated FD (without lung resection) was compared between those who had a thoracotomy (n = 16) vs thoracoscopy (n = 11). The age, weight, operating time, and anesthesia time were not different between the 2 groups. However, the thoracoscopy group had significantly fewer chest tube days (1.6 vs 3.3 days) and a shorter hospital stay (2.6 vs 6.6 days). Intraoperative complications consisted of tracheal injury in 3 patients (2 thoracotomy, 1 thoracoscopy) and esophageal mucosal injury in 2 patients (both thoracotomy), which were all recognized and repaired. CONCLUSION: Foregut duplications may present in a variety of ways and locations. Thoracoscopy is advantageous for isolated intrathoracic FDs.