Research: Thoracoscopic Patch Repair of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia: Can Smaller Incisions Treat Larger Defects?

J Pediatr Surg


. 2023 Sep 29:S0022-3468(23)00578-X.

 doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2023.09.040. Online ahead of print.

Thoracoscopic Patch Repair of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia: Can Smaller Incisions Treat Larger Defects?

Nikhil R Shah 1Cory N Criss 2Keerthi Burgi 3Niki Matusko 4James D Geiger 4Erin E Perrone 4George B Mychaliska 4Matthew W Ralls 4

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Introduction: Thoracoscopic CDH repair is increasingly performed for Type A and small Type B defects that are amenable to primary repair. However, the thoracoscopic approach is controversial for larger defects necessitating a patch due to technical complexity, intraoperative acidosis, and recurrence risk. We aim to compare clinical outcomes between thoracoscopic and open patch repair of Type B/C defects, using a standardized technique.

Methods: This is a single-center retrospective review of thoracoscopic and open CDH patch repairs January 2017-December 2021. We excluded primary repairs, Type D hernias, repairs on ECMO, recurrent repairs. Various preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative variables were compared. Primary outcome was recurrence rate. Secondary outcomes included intraoperative pH and pCO2, operative time, and complication rates.

Results: Twenty-nine patients met inclusion criteria (open = 13, thoracoscopic = 16). The open cohort had lower o/e total fetal lung volume (29 vs 41.2%, p = 0.042), higher preoperative peak inspiratory pressures (24 vs 20 cm H2O, p = 0.007), were more frequently Type C defects (92.3 vs 31%, p = 0.002) and had liver “up” in left-sided hernias (46 vs 0%, p < 0.0001). Intraoperatively, median lowest pH and highest pCO2 did not differ; neither did overall median pH or pCO2. Operative times were similar (153 vs 194 min, p = 0.113). No difference in recurrence rates was identified, however postoperative complications were higher in the open group. There were no mortalities.

Conclusions: Although we demonstrate higher disease severity of patients undergoing open repair, thoracoscopic patch repair for Type B/C defects is safe and effective in patients with favorable physiologic status, alleviating concerns for intraoperative acidosis, operative length, and risk of recurrence.

Level of evidence: II.

Keywords: Congenital diaphragmatic hernia; Minimally invasive; Patch repair; Thoracoscopy.

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