Outcomes following thoracotomy or thoracoscopic vascular ring division in children and young adults

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2017 Aug;154(2):607-615. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2017.01.058. Epub 2017 Mar 11.


Objective: To determine the short- and intermediate-term outcomes following vascular ring division by video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) or thoracotomy approach.

Methods: This study is a retrospective review of patients with double aortic arch or right aortic arch with aberrant left subclavian artery and left ligamentum (RAA with LSCA/LL) who underwent division via left thoracotomy or VATS approach at a single institution. Outcome measures included operation duration (OR time), hospital length of stay (LOS), postoperative complications, and freedom from reintervention.

Results: A total of 200 patients underwent vascular ring division by VATS (n = 115) or thoracotomy (n = 85). Of 200 patients, 125 (56%) displayed respiratory symptoms at presentation, 29 (11%) displayed digestive tract symptoms, and 41 (32%) displayed both. Median follow-up was 2.1 years (interquartile range: 1 month to 7.1 years). Overall cohort mortality was 1 (0.5%) of 200 at 11 years after surgery. Fifteen (7.5%) experienced immediate postoperative complications. At follow-up visit within 1 month after surgery, 92 (74%) of 125 patients reported improvement in symptoms. Freedom from reintervention was 96% and 90% at 5 years and 10 years, respectively. Among patients with RAA with LSCA/LL (n = 113), VATS was associated with shorter LOS compared with thoracotomy (1.2 vs 3.4 days; P < .001), but rates of complications were not significantly different (9% vs 4%, P = .68).

Conclusions: Vascular ring division by either thoracotomy or VATS can be performed with low rates of complication and need for reintervention. Compared with thoracotomy, VATS is associated with shorter operative duration and hospital LOS among patients with RAA with LSCA/LL.

Keywords: right aortic arch with aberrant left subclavian; vascular ring; video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Operative Time
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Reoperation / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted* / adverse effects
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted* / methods
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted* / mortality
  • Thoracotomy* / adverse effects
  • Thoracotomy* / methods
  • Thoracotomy* / mortality
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Ring / mortality
  • Vascular Ring / surgery*