Aim of studyThe repair of esophageal atresia (EA) carries an increased risk of anastomotic leak and stricture formation, especially in patients with anastomotic tension. To minimize this risk, pediatric surgeons perform elective post-operative muscle paralysis, positive-pressure ventilation, and head flexion (PVF) to reduce movement and tension at the anastomosis. We systematically reviewed and analyzed the effect of post-operative PVF on reducing anastomotic complications.MethodsEmbase, MEDLINE, Web of Science, and PubMed databases were used to conduct searches. Articles reporting pediatric EA undergoing primary anastomosis, anastomotic complications, and comparisons between patients who received post-operative PVF to those who did not were included. Odds ratios (OR) for all post-operative anastomotic complications were calculated using random effects modelling.Main resultsThree of the 2268 papers retrieved met inclusion criteria (all retrospective cohortstudies). There were no randomized controlled trials. Post-operative PVF showed a significant reduction in anastomotic leak (OR 0.07; 95% CI 0.01-0.35) when compared to no PVF. Stricture formation was not statistically different between groups. Potential sources of bias include patient allocation.ConclusionsBased on available data, our analysis indicates PVF may reduce anastomotic post-operative leak. To confirm these results, a prospective study with clearer definitions of treatment allocation should be performed.
Post-operative paralysis and elective ventilation reduces anastomotic complications in esophageal atresia: a systematic review and meta-analysis / O'Connell, J. S.; Janssen Lok, M.; Miyake, H.; Seo, S.; Bindi, E.; Alganabi, M.; Pierro, A.. - In: PEDIATRIC SURGERY INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0179-0358. - 35:1(2019), pp. 87-95. [10.1007/s00383-018-4379-1]