Slide tracheoplasty in 81 children: Improved outcomes with modified surgical technique and optimal surgical age

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the surgical outcome of slide tracheoplasty.

Eighty-one patients who underwent slide tracheoplasty were retrospectively reviewed. Before and after operation, all patients were examined by computed tomography (CT) and bronchoscopy regularly.

There were 8 deaths and the mortality was 9.9%. They all died of respiratory failure associated with the formation of granulation tissue in the airway postoperatively. The mortality was 15.8% from 2009 to 2012 and decreased to 8.1% from 2013 to 2016. The mortality of patients aged 10 to 24 months was 5.7%, which was significantly lower than those younger than 10 months and those older than 24 months. After surgery, 11 patients had granulation tissue growing at anastomosis edges and 8 of them died eventually. Twenty patients had mucosa varus at the site of anastomosis which mainly happened in the early time. Between different time periods and different age groups, there was significant difference in the incidence of granulation tissue and mucosa varus (P < .01). Clinical symptoms of tracheal stenosis disappeared and the results of CT were satisfactory after operation.

Slide tracheoplasty is an effective surgical method for congenital tracheal stenosis associated with congenital heart disease. With the continuous improvement of surgical technique, the mortality has been reduced and the incidence of granulation tissue and mucosa varus also has been reduced. The period of 10 to 24 months of age is the optimal cure time.

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