Thoracoscopic repair of congenital diaphragmatic hernia in neonates: Lessons learned

Anne C. Kim, Benjamin S. Bryner, Begum Akay, James D. Geiger, Ronald B. Hirschl, George B. Mychaliska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: We sought to characterize our recent experience with thoracoscopic congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) repair and identify patient selection factors. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of full-term neonatal (<1 month of age) patients who underwent thoracoscopic CDH repair between 2004 and 2008 (n=15). We obtained data on prenatal diagnosis, characteristics of the CDH and repair, complications, and outcome. Results: All patients were stabilized preoperatively and underwent repair at an average of 5.7±1.3 days. Six patients were prenatally diagnosed, including the 5 inborn. Thirteen defects were left-sided. All were intubated shortly after birth and 2 required extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Twelve of 15 (80%) patients underwent successful thoracoscopic primary repair, including 1 of the patients who required ECMO prior to repair. Conversion to open repair occurred in 3 of 15 (20%) patients because of the need for patch closure or intraoperative instability. Among those converted to open, all had left-sided CDH defects and 3 had stomach herniation (of 5 such patients). Patients spent an average of 6.9 ± 1.0 days on the ventilator following repair. The average time until full-enteral feeding was 16.7 ± 2.25 days, and average length of hospital stay was 23.8 ± 2.73 days. All patients survived to discharge, and average length of follow-up was 15.3 ± 3.6 months. Conclusions: Thoracoscopic repair of CDH is a safe, effective strategy in patients who have undergone prior stabilization. Stomach herniation is associated with, but does not categorically predict, conversion to open repair. ECMO use prior to repair should not be an absolute contraindication to thoracoscopic repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-580
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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