Feasibility of thoracoscopic U-clip esophageal anastomosis: an alternative for esophageal atresia reconstruction.

Author Department

Pediatrics; Surgery

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



BACKGROUND: The authors propose that U-Clips can significantly decrease the technical difficulty of performing thoracoscopic esophageal reconstruction, thus, reducing operating time, the incidence of postoperative leak, and stricture rate. METHODS: After obtaining Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval, 3 4-kg female piglets underwent complete thoracoscopic esophageal transections. The esophagus was reconstructed thoracoscopically using S50 and S60 U-Clips over an 8F transanastomotic tube. Esophagrams were performed on postoperative day (POD) 7, 21, 44, and 77. RESULTS: Mean operating time was 57 minutes (45 to 75 min). Two of 3 piglets had no evidence of leak on POD 7 esophagrams. One animal had a small leak that resolved spontaneously on antibiotics. All 3 piglets tolerated a formula diet orally by POD 8. Over a 77-day survival period all 3 piglets had steady weight gain on an oral diet. CONCLUSIONS: U-Clips are a feasible alternative to sutures for esophageal reconstruction in thoracoscopic surgery. Further study is warranted to investigate the full potential of U-Clips in minimally invasive pediatric surgery.

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