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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2010 December;51(6):929-33

language: English

Minimally invasive partial inferior sternotomy for congenital heart defects in children

Seipelt R. G. 1, Popov A. 1, Danner B. 1, Paul T. 2, Tirilomis T. 1, Schoendube F. A. 1, Ruschewski W. 1

1 Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Georg August University, Goettingen, Germany;
2 Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany


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AIM: Minimally invasive approaches for repair of congenital heart defects have gained in popularity. Aim of the study was to evaluate the safety and efficiency of the partial inferior sternotomy approach to repair various congenital heart defects.
METHODS: Since 1998, 100 children (55 males; mean age: 3.8±3.7; mean weight: 15.1±8.7 kg) were operated on via a limited median vertical skin incision and partial inferior sternotomy. Preoperative diagnoses were: ASD II (N.=46), sinus venosus defect with partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection (N.=12), partial AV-canal (N.=4), VSD (N.=35), tetralogy of Fallot (N.=2), and double chambered right ventricle (N.=1). Cannulation was always performed via the chest incision.
RESULTS: There were no deaths. Mean cross-clamp time was 49.9±30.6 minutes, and mean operation time 192±46 minutes. Mean postoperative mechanical ventilation time, Intensive Care Unit stay and hospital stay were 9.7±10.4 hours, 1.8±0.7 days, and 12±3.0 days, respectively. Complications included pneumothorax requiring drainage in 2 patients, atrioventricular block necessitating a permanent pacemaker in 1 patient. The incisions healed properly. All patients are in excellent condition after a mean follow-up of 32±25 months. On echocardiography no residual defect was evident in 98 patients, and a mild mitral insufficiency in two patients operated on partial atrioventricular canal.
CONCLUSION: The partial inferior sternotomy approach to congenital heart operations is less invasive than and cosmetically superior to full sternotomy with reduced postoperative pain and discomfort for the patients. This approach ensures a safe procedure with excellent exposure without additional incisions. It is our standard approach in infants/children with septal defects.

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rseipelt@med.uni-goettingen.de