Background. Video-assisted thoracic surgery has been shown to be a safe and effective method of closing the patent ductus arteriosus in infants and children. We have applied this technique in low birth weight premature infants and now report our experience. Methods. Since 1996, we have used video-assisted thoracic surgery ligation as the treatment of choice for all patent ductus arteriosus, including 100 performed on premature infants (23 to 31 weeks' gestation, mean 25.6 weeks; 0.420 to 1.5 kg, mean 0.859 kg). A modification of our previously described technique was used with a three-port approach. All patients had some degree of symptoms of congestive failure with failure to wean from ventilatory support or oxygen dependency. Five infants had associated patent foramen, and 1 had a small ventricular septal defect. Results. All 100 procedures were performed in the operating room. One infant was found to have a coarctation, and the procedure was aborted. The remaining 99 were successfully ligated, although three were converted to an open procedure (3%) because of coagulopathy, poor pulmonary compliance, or hemodynamic instability. There were no procedure-related deaths; however, 15 infants subsequently died of complications of prematurity, including enterocolitis, sepsis, and late respiratory failure. Six infants had chest tubes left in place for coagulopathy, effusions, suspected air leak, and existing empyema. There were six residual pneumothoraces, four requiring treatment. Conclusions. Video-assisted thoracic surgery is a safe and effective technique for patent ductus arteriosus ligation in premature infants, including those with very low and extremely low birth weight.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine