Transverse Split Sternotomy: A Mini-Invasive Approach for Repair of Congenital Cardiac Defects

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In this article, we aim to review our mini-invasive technique of transverse sternal split (TSS) with or without cervical cannulation for cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), its usefulness, and efficiency for repair of congenital cardiac defects.


Between January 2013 and June 2015, 34 infants and small children were operated through TSS in third or fourth intercostal space [Tetralogy of Fallot 11, perventricular ventricular septal defect (VSD) device closure 23]. Cardiopulmonary bypass was established through cervical (common carotid artery [CCA] and internal juglar vein [IJV]) and inferior vena cava cannulation. In patients operated on CPB, near-infrared spectroscopy was monitored during surgery for cerebral oxygenation and Doppler ultrasonography was performed postoperatively for patency of CCA and IJV. Patients were followed up after discharge with physical examination and transthoracic echocardiography (TTE).


Surgical site exposure through TSS was adequate in all patients. There was no significant morbidity, postoperatively or during follow-up except three patients with VSD device closure who required prolonged mechanical ventilation. Cervical cannulation was sufficient for arterial inflow in all patients operated on CPB. There was one mortality and three procedure failures in VSD device closure group. There was no incidence of neurological complication. Both CCA and IJV were patent in all patients operated on CPB. No significant residual defect was found in either group on postoperative transthoracic echocardiography.


Transverse sternal split with or without cervical cannulation is a feasible technique for repair of tetralogy of Fallot and perventricular device closure in selected group of infants and small children without compromising the exposure or quality of repair.

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