Current patterns of practice and technique in the repair of esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistua: an IPEG survey.

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DOI: 10.1089/lap.2013.0210


BACKGROUND: Optimal surgical treatment of infants with esophageal atresia (EA) and tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) remains controversial. In order to better understand variability in management, we surveyed the International Pediatric Endosurgery Group (IPEG) membership.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: An online-based survey, conducted in 2012, was sent to all IPEG members.

RESULTS: The survey was completed by 170 surgeons from 31 countries. A majority of respondents practiced in academic/university settings (86%) and performed one to three EA/TEF repairs annually (67%). Those practicing for over 15 years made up 39% of the study group, followed by those practicing 6-10 years (24%), 0-5 years (22%), and 11-15 years (15%). Utilization of a thoracoscopic approach was reported by half of the respondents with a frequency of 1-3 cases (76%), 4-6 cases (17%), and greater than 7 cases (7%) per year. Low birth weight, congenital heart disease, long gap length, and compromised physiologic status were identified as the most common exclusion criteria for thoracoscopic repair. The thoracoscopic repair was almost uniformly performed via an intrapleural approach (96%), in contrast with the open repair that was done extrapleurally in 89%. Preoperative bronchoscopy was routinely performed by 60%. Size 4-0 to 5-0 absorbable suture predominated for EA repair. Postoperative chest tube/drain and transanastomotic tube placement were used by 83%. A normal esophagram was required by 85% to initiate oral feeding. Sixty-six percent initiated transanastomotic feeds prior to obtaining an esophagram. Postoperative antibiotic use was common (76%) and varied from less than 1 to greater than 14 days. Acid suppression medication was used by 76% with duration ranging from 7 days to lifelong. For long gap EA, spiral myotomies were rarely performed (10%), and gastric transposition was the favored method for esophageal replacement (66%).

CONCLUSIONS: Considerable variability existed among the IPEG membership in treatment of patients with EA/TEF. The identification of variance is the first step in creating future studies to identify best practices.

Journal Title

Journal of laparoendoscopic & advanced surgical techniques. Part A





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MeSH Keywords

Esophageal Atresia; Female; Humans; Infant; Male; Practice Patterns, Physicians'; Surveys and Questionnaires; Tracheoesophageal Fistula


EA; TEF; International Pediatric Endosurgery Group (IPEG)

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