Research: Muscle Flap Technique Safe for On-ECMO Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Repair

J Pediatr Surg

. 2023 Dec 8:S0022-3468(23)00730-3.

 doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2023.11.022. Online ahead of print.

Muscle Flap Technique Safe for On-ECMO Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Repair

Alyssa E Vaughn 1Bailey D Lyttle 2Amanda E Louiselle 2Emily Cooper 3Stephen M Niemiec 2Ryan Phillips 2Sarah A Hilton 2John P Kinsella 4Jason Gien 4S Christopher Derderian 2Kenneth W Liechty 5

Affiliations expand


Introduction: Prosthetic patches (patch) and muscle flaps (flap) are techniques used for repair of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) with a large defect unamenable to primary closure. We hypothesized that the flap technique for CDH repair while on extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (on-ECMO) would have decreased bleeding complications compared to patch due to the hemostatic advantage of native tissue.

Methods: A single-center retrospective comparative study of patients who underwent on-ECMO CDH repair between 2008 and 2022 was performed.

Results: Fifty-two patients met inclusion criteria: 18 patch (34.6%) and 34 flap (65.4%). There was no difference in CDH severity between groups. On univariate analysis, reoperation for surgical bleeding was lower following flap repair compared to patch (23.5% vs 55.6%, respectively; p = 0.045), 48-h postoperative blood product transfusion was lower after flap repair (132 mL/kg vs 273.5 mL/kg patch; p = 0.006), and two-year survival was increased in the flap repair group compared to patch (53.1% vs 17.7%, respectively; p = 0.036). On multivariate analysis adjusting for CDH side, day on ECMO repaired, and day of life CDH repaired, flap repair was significantly associated with lower five-day postoperative packed red blood cell transfusion amount, improved survival to hospital discharge, and improved two-year survival.

Conclusions: Our experience suggests that the muscle flap technique for on-ECMO CDH repair is associated with reduced bleeding complications compared to prosthetic patch repair, which may in part be responsible for the improved survival seen in the flap repair group. These results support the flap repair technique as a favored method for on-ECMO CDH repair.

Level of evidence: Level III.

Keywords: Bleeding complications; Congenital diaphragmatic hernia; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; Muscle flap repair; Surgical technique.

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