Vascular Rings With Tracheoesophageal Compression: Management Considerations

Carl L. Backer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Our series of vascular ring patients treated at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago has now exceeded 450 patients (see Central Picture). The recommendations from this review are based on our experience with those patients. Since 1990, we have used preoperative cross-sectional imaging in all vascular ring patients. This has led us to refine our operative strategies and carefully tailor the operation to the individual's unique anatomy. In particular for right aortic arch patients, we now address the Kommerell diverticulum in most cases and carefully consider Kommerell diverticulum resection with left subclavian artery transfer. In double aortic arch patients, we also look for a Kommerell diverticulum and resect the diverticulum if present. This will decrease the number of patients presenting for a reoperation after initial vascular ring surgery. Since 1947, we have operated on 217 patients with a right aortic arch. The median age is 1.5 years. Since 2006, 47 out of 111 patients have had Kommerell diverticulum resection and left subclavian artery transfer to the left carotid artery. Mean length of stay is 4.5 days. In the same time period, 187 patients have been treated for a double aortic arch. The median age is 1 year. Twelve of these patients also had resection of a Kommerell diverticulum. The mean length of stay in this group was 3 days. Advanced preoperative cross-sectional imaging leads to precise operative techniques tailored to the unique anatomy of each vascular ring patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-52
Number of pages5
JournalSeminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery: Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Annual
StatePublished - 2020


  • Aortic arch
  • Esophagus
  • Surgical
  • Trachea
  • Vascular ring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Vascular Rings With Tracheoesophageal Compression: Management Considerations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this