Comparative Study
Journal Article
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One-stage Soave pull-through for Hirschsprung's disease: a comparison of the transanal and open approaches.

PURPOSE: The authors reviewed their experience using the transanal Soave technique, to determine (1) if it offers any advantages over the standard open approach and (2) whether routine laparoscopic visualization is necessary.

METHODS: The case reports of 37 consecutive children less than 3 years old undergoing Soave pull-through were reviewed. Patients were excluded from analysis if they had total colon disease or had a previous colostomy. The patients were divided into 3 groups: open Soave (OS, n = 13), transanal Soave with routine laparoscopic visualization (LVS, n = 9), and transanal Soave with selective laparoscopy or minilaparotomy (TAS, n = 15). Cost was calculated based on hospital stay, operating room time, and use of laparoscopic equipment.

RESULTS: In the TAS group, suspicion of a longer segment led to the selective use of laparoscopy with or without biopsy in 2 children, and the use of a small umbilical incision for mobilization of the splenic flexure in 2. There were no differences among groups with respect to age, weight, gender, transition zone, operating time, blood loss, intraoperative complications, enterocolitis, or stricture or cuff narrowing. Hospital stay was significantly longer in the OS group (median, 7 days; range, 3 to 47) than the LVS (median, 1; range 1 to 6) or TAS (median, 1, range, 1 to 3) groups. Cost (in thousands of dollars) was also higher in the OS group (median, 6.9; range, 3.9-25.7) than the LVS (median, 3.9; range, 3.6 to 6.4) or TAS (median, 3.4; range, 2.2 to 9.4) groups. Repeat surgery was necessary for 4 OS patients: 2 adhesive small bowel obstructions (1 of whom died), 1 twisted pull-through, and 1 recurrent aganglionosis. Three TAS patients required repeat surgery: 1 twisted pull-through, 1 anastomotic leak, and 1 cuff narrowing.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that the transanal pull-through is associated with a significantly shorter hospital stay and lower cost than the open approach, without an increased risk of complications. Because there is no intraabdominal dissection, there probably is a lower incidence of adhesive bowel obstruction. Routine laparoscopic visualization or minilaparotomy is not necessary but should be used in children who are at higher risk for long segment disease.

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