One of the major challenges faced in minimally invasive pediatric cardiac surgery is cannulation strategy for cardiopulmonary bypass. Central aortic cannulation through the same incision has been the usual strategy, but it has the disadvantage of cluttering of the operative field. We hereby present the results of femoral cannulation in minimally invasive pediatric cardiac surgery in terms of adequacy and safety.Methods
From January 2013 to June 2016, 200 children (122 males) with mean ± SD age of 9.2 ± 4.51 years (median = 6 years, range = 3–18 years) and weight of 19.22 ± 8.49 kg (median = 15 kg, range = 8–45 kg) were operated for congenital cardiac defects through anterolateral thoracotomy. The most common diagnosis was atrial septal defect (144 patients). In all the patients, femoral artery and femoral vein were cannulated along with direct superior vena cava cannulation for institution of cardiopulmonary bypass.Results
There were no deaths or any major complications related to femoral cannulation. Femoral artery cannulation provided adequate arterial inflow, whereas femoral vein with direct superior vena cava cannulation provided adequate venous return in all the patients. No patient required vacuum-assisted venous drainage. No patient required conversion to sternotomy or developed vascular, neurological complications. At discharge and at 1-year follow-up, both femoral artery and vein were patent without a significant stenosis on color Doppler ultrasonography in all the patients. At mean ± SD follow-up period of 30.63 ± 10.09 months, all the patients were doing well without any wound-related, neurological, or vascular complications.Conclusions
Femoral arterial and venous cannulation is a feasible, reliable, and efficient method for institution of cardiopulmonary bypass in minimally invasive pediatric cardiac surgery.