Azygos vein preservation in primary repair of esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula
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The aim of this study is to report a series of patients with the Azygos vein preserved during the surgery for esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula (EA&TEF), highlighting the advantages in terms of survival and prevention of anastomotic leak. Ninety-six neonates with EA&TEF, admitted to the Department of Pediatric Surgery, King George Medical University between 2004 and 2006, were reviewed prospectively; the babies were randomly allocated to two groups: Group A (n = 46) in which the Azygos vein was preserved and Group B (n = 50), wherein it was ligated. The two groups were comparable in respect to sex, weight, prematurity, associated anomalies, Waterston classification, Spitz classification and distance between the pouches after mobilization. Anastomotic leak occurred in three cases (6%) in Group A and ten cases (20%) in Group B and was responsible for mortality in one (2%) case in Group A and six cases (12%) in Group B. Preservation of Azygos vein resulted in significant reduction in the number of anastomotic leaks. We propose that preservation of the Azygos vein prevents early postoperative edema of the esophageal anastomosis by maintaining the venous drainage and thus may form an additional protective factor against anastomotic leaks.
KeywordsAzygos vein Tracheoesophageal fistula Esophageal atresia Anastomotic leak
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