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Authors Fallon SC, Langer JC, St Peter SD, Tsao K, Kellagher CM, Lal DR, Whitehouse JS, Diesen DL, Rollins MD, Pontarelli E, Malek MM, Iqbal CW, Upperman JS, Leys CM, Wulkan ML, Hill SJ, Blakely ML, Kane TD, Wesson DE
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Journal J. Pediatr. Surg. Volume: 52 Issue: 11 Pages: 1711-1714
Publish Date 2017 Nov
PubMed ID 28528013

To perform a multicenter review of outcomes in patients with H-type tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) in order to better understand the incidence and causes of post-operative complications.H-type TEF without esophageal atresia (EA) is a rare anomaly with a fundamentally different management algorithm than the more common types of EA/TEF. Outcomes after surgical treatment of H-type TEF are largely unknown, but many authoritative textbooks describe a high incidence of respiratory complications.A multicenter retrospective review of all H-type TEF patients treated at 14 tertiary children’s hospital from 2002-2012 was performed. Data were systematically collected concerning associated anomalies, operative techniques, hospital course, and short and long-term outcomes. Descriptive analyses were performed.We identified 102 patients (median 9.5 per center, range 1-16) with H-type TEF. The overall survival was 97%. Most patients were repaired via the cervical approach (96%). The in-hospital complication rate, excluding vocal cord issues, was 16%; this included an 8% post-operative leak rate. Twenty-two percent failed initial extubation after repair. A total of 22% of the entire group had vocal cord abnormalities (paralysis or paresis) on laryngoscopy that were likely because of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury. Nine percent required a tracheostomy. Only 3% had a recurrent fistula, all of which were treated with reoperation.There is a high rate of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury after H-type TEF repair. This underscores the need for meticulous surgical technique at the initial repair and suggests that early vocal cord evaluation should be performed for any post-operative respiratory difficulty. Routine evaluation of vocal cord function after H-type TEF repair should be considered.Level IV. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System