Lung retransplantation is a demanding procedure with outcomes lagging primary transplantation. We implemented less invasive surgical techniques aiming at improving early outcomes. Here, we wish to describe these techniques and analyze the clinical outcomes.Methods
Since April 2010, a protocol of less invasive techniques was applied to all lung retransplantations. This protocol comprises bilateral lung retransplantation via sternum-sparing anterolateral thoracotomies, off-pump surgery, and empiric administration of 2 g fibrinogen and 2 platelet concentrates. Patient charts were retrospectively reviewed starting in April 2010 until May 2016 for this study and compared with a cohort of patients undergoing lung retransplantation between January 2005 and March 2010.Results
From April 2010 through March 2016, 774 total lung transplantations were performed at our center, 49 were retransplantations. In the era January 2005 to March 2010, a total of 480 lung transplantations were performed, 38 of those being retransplantations. Mean operation time in the era April 2010 to May 2016 was significantly longer as compared with the era January 2005 to March 2010, median time until extubation was significantly shorter in the era April 2010 to May 2016 (1 [1-2] days vs 11.5 [1-24] days; P = 0.0009). Similarly, median intensive care unit stay time was shorter in the era April 2010 to May 2016 (4 [2-5.5] days vs 12.5 [3-30.5] days; P = 0.003). Patient survival was significantly better in the era starting in April 2010 at 30 days (98% vs 76.3%, P = 0.002) as well as at 1 year (80.6% vs 63.2%; P = 0.01).Conclusions
Less invasive retransplantation of the lung via sternum-sparing anterolateral thoracotomies and off-pump is a safe procedure with low associated morbidity and favorable midterm survival.