Contemporary outcomes of the Foker process and evolution of treatment algorithms for long-gap esophageal atresia.
BACKGROUND: Esophageal growth using the Foker process (FP) for long-gap esophageal atresia (LGEA) has evolved over time.
METHODS: Contemporary LGEA patients treated from 2014-2020 were compared to historical controls (2005 to <2014).
RESULTS: 102 contemporary LGEA patients (type A 50%, B 18%, C 32%; 36% prior anastomotic attempt; 20 with esophagostomy) underwent either primary repair (n=23), jejunal interposition (JI; n = 14), or Foker process (FP; n = 65; 49 primary [p], 16 rescue [r]). The contemporary p-FP cohort experienced significantly fewer leaks on traction (4% vs 22%), bone fractures (2% vs 22%), anastomotic leak (12% vs 37%), and Foker failure (FP→JI; 0% vs 15%), when compared to historical p-FP patients (n = 27), all p ≤ 0.01. Patients who underwent a completely (n = 11) or partially (n = 11) minimally invasive FP experienced fewer median days paralyzed (0 vs 8 vs 17) and intubated (9 vs 15 vs 25) compared to open FP patients, respectively (all p ≤ 0.03), with equivalent leak rates (18% vs 9% vs 26%, p = 0.47). At one-year post-FP, most patients (62%) are predominantly orally fed.
CONCLUSION: With continued experience and technical refinements, the Foker process has evolved with improved outcomes, less morbidity and maximal esophageal preservation.
Journal of pediatric surgery
Algorithms; Anastomosis, Surgical; Esophageal Atresia; Humans; Retrospective Studies; Treatment Outcome
Esophageal atresia; Foker procedure; III; Level of Evidence; Long-gap esophageal atresia; Minimally invasive
Svetanoff WJ, Zendejas B, Hernandez K, et al. Contemporary outcomes of the Foker process and evolution of treatment algorithms for long-gap esophageal atresia. J Pediatr Surg. 2021;56(12):2180-2191. doi:10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2021.02.054