Thoracoscopic treatment for delayed presentation of congenital diaphragmatic hernia in the infant
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Background: Delayed presentations of congenital hernia occurring outside of the neonatal period have been reported for all ages. Classically, repair of the hernia defect involves a transverse subcostal laparotomy in the pediatric age group and usually a thoracotomy in the adult. The first report describing a laparoscopic repair of a congenital diaphragmatic hernia in a 6-month-old infant was published in 1995. During the past 25 years, 17 patients with delayed presentation of congenital diaphragmatic hernias have been managed by our pediatric surgery team. The last three patients underwent surgery thoracoscopically. Patients and Methods: This study involved two boys (ages, 8.3 and 19 months, respectively) and one girl (age, 9 months) weighing 8 to 13 kg. All three infants underwent surgery using a thoracoscopic approach with general anesthesia. A thoracic epidural catheter was placed systematically for postoperative analgesia during the first 24 hours. Reduction of the hernia contents using one optical trocar and two operating trocars was difficult in the case without any hernia sac. In the cases with a hernia sac, reduction was easily and quickly obtained with a pleural insufflation of carbon dioxide (~8 mmHg). The hernia defect was repaired using interrupted sutures of 2/0 Ethibond. For two of the three patients, this repair was reinforced with staples in the one case and a nonresorbable mesh in the other case. Results: The mean operative time was 78 min. The chest tube was removed on the first or second postoperative day and the patients were discharged on the fourth or fifth postoperative day. At the 19-month follow-up assessment in one case, the chest x-ray was perfectly normal and diaphragmatic motion also was confirmed to be normal by ultrasonography. Conclusions: The thoracoscopic approach for the repair of delayed-presentation congenital diaphragmatic hernia is feasible. Our results demonstrate the safety and efficiency of this surgery, as well as a remarkable functional and cosmetic result and a very quick recovery.>
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