Post-operative management of esophageal atresia–tracheoesophageal fistula and gastroesophageal reflux: A Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons annual meeting survey
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BACKGROUND: Esophageal atresia (EA), with or without tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), is commonly associated with gastroesophageal reflux (GER) after surgical repair. One risk factor for anastomotic stricture is post-operative GER. This survey assessed practice patterns among attendees at the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons (CAPS) annual meeting with respect to management of GER post EA-TEF repair. METHODS: A pre-piloted survey was handed out and collected at the 2012 CAPS annual meeting. Data were entered and coded, and descriptive statistics were calculated. RESULTS: We distributed 70 surveys, and 57 (81.4%) surveys were returned. On average, the incidence of EA-TEF is 8-10 cases per institution, per year. Anti-reflux medication is started immediately post-operatively in 74% of patients at institution of feeds (11%), or if symptoms of reflux develop (14%). Proton pump inhibitors and H2-receptor antagonists are used in approximately equal proportion. Patients are typically kept on anti-reflux medication for 3-6 months (37%) or 6-12 months (35%). CONCLUSIONS: Most CAPS attendees treat postoperative GER prophylactically. However, there is no consistency in management strategy regarding which anti-reflux agent to use or for how long. A multi-centered study is required to establish a standardized protocol for the post-operative management of EA-TEF to prevent reflux and its effect on anastomotic strictures.
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