End-to-side repair (ES) with ligation of the tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) reduces the risks of stricture and gastroesophageal reflux disease requiring operation compared with the end-to-end repair of esophageal atresia and distal TEF.
Case series with institutional and historical control subjects.
Referral children's hospital.
One hundred thirty-four infants diagnosed as having esophageal atresia and distal TEF between June 30, 1968, and July 1, 2003.
Ninety-six infants having ES and 38 having end-to-end repair.
Main Outcome Measures
Patients were studied for overall survival, surgical complications, and well-being during the first year of life.
Survival was 95% vs 90% (patients undergoing ES vs end-to-end repair). Complications included anastomotic leak, 8% vs 13%; recurrent TEF, 7% vs 3%, with only 1 recurrence in the last 28 patients having ES; anastomotic stricture (requiring dilatation), 5% vs 13%; gastroesophageal reflux disease requiring operation, 6% vs 18%; and esophageal dysmotility, which was present following nearly all ES and end-to-end procedures. Tracheomalacia-related respiratory symptoms following ES decreased from 50% to 11% at 1 year of age. Age-appropriate diet following ES was achieved in 93% by 1 year; 5% experienced occasional dysphagia or choking episodes.
The ES operation is accompanied by a reduced rate of stricture and gastroesophageal reflux disease requiring operation compared with end-to-end repair. Earlier concerns regarding an unacceptable risk of recurrent TEF were not substantiated.