Partial median sternotomy as a minimal access for the closure of subarterial ventricular septal defect
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Background: Minimally invasive techniques in congenital heart surgery have evolved steadily over the past few years, but documentation in the literature is rare. The majority of reported techniques involve thoracoscopic approach and partial sternotomy. We have employed a lower partial sternotomy as a minimal-access procedure for the closure of subarterial ventricular septal defect, for situation where this approach would be unsuitable for adequate exposure of the pulmonary artery. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the feasibility and safety of this technique and report its superior cosmetic result. Subjects and Methods: Beginning in 1997, we began approaching the closure of subarterial ventricular septal defect through a lower sternal split incision using a 6 to 10 cm skin opening, associated with a reversed L incision at the left second intercostal space. A total of consecutive 12 patients (6 male and 6 female) have been operated on using this approach. The patients ranged in age from 6 to 21 years (mean, 12.8 ± 5.0 years). The straight cannula with stylet was used for aortic cannulation. Results: There was no mortality or morbidity, except for late pericardial effusion in 4 cases. The durations of cardiopulmonary bypass and aortic cross-clamping ranged from 94 to 206 (mean, 131 ±33) minutes and from 40 to 122 (mean, 70 ± 26) minutes, respectively. Ten of 12 patients were extubated in the operating room, and no patient required blood transfusion. The postoperative hospital stay ranged from 8 to 21 (mean, 13.4 ± 4.2) days. No patient developed deterioration of aortic regurgitation or residual ventricular septal defect. Conclusions: Our experience demonstrates that the lower partial sternotomy for the closure of subarterial ventricular septal defect is technically feasible and can be used with excellent cosmetic results and safety. Although experience is limited and follow-up is relatively short, this less invasive surgical technique may become a beneficial option for the management of subarterial ventricular septal defect.
Index wordsminimally invasive cardiac surgery minimal access surgery ventricular septal defect partial sternotomy
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