JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Is tracheoplasty necessary for all patients with pulmonary artery sling and tracheal stenosis?

Pulmonary artery sling frequently accompanies various degrees of tracheal stenosis. The authors reviewed their surgical outcomes for pulmonary artery sling from two institutions. From 1997 to September 2011, 16 patients with pulmonary artery sling underwent surgical treatment. Their median age was 4.6 months and their body weight 6.2 kg at the time of the operation. Of the 16 patients, 12 showed preoperative respiratory symptoms such as recurrent airway infection or dyspnea, with three of these patients receiving ventilator therapy preoperatively. Most of the patients showed various degrees of tracheal luminal stenosis and stenotic length, except for three patients who did not show significant airway stenosis. Left pulmonary artery reimplantation was performed for all the patients, but an accompanying tracheoplasty was performed for only two patients (one patch augmentation and one sliding tracheoplasty). After surgery, early extubation and intensive lung care were performed. Two operative mortalities occurred: one due to cardiac tamponade associated with postoperative bleeding and one due to aggravation of preexisting multiorgan failure. Two late mortalities occurred: one due to airway obstruction by repetitive granulation tissue growing at the tracheoplasty site and one due to pneumonia. The 12 living patients, including 11 patients who did not undergo tracheal surgery, showed no clinically significant airway problems at their last follow-up visit. The surgical outcomes for pulmonary artery sling without tracheoplasty were acceptable. The authors think tracheoplasty may be avoided by intensive postoperative airway management for a significant portion of the patients with pulmonary artery sling and tracheal stenosis.

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