Heart, Lung and Circulation

Can Right Infra-Axillary Vertical Thoracotomy Make a Big Difference in Surgical Technique Preference?


      Minimally invasive techniques in the surgical treatment of congenital heart diseases have gained popularity recently. Right infra-axillary vertical thoracotomy (RIAVT) is one of these techniques. The aim of this study is to investigate the postoperative morbidity and cosmetic results of the right infraaxillary thoracotomy technique and compare them with the results in the literature.


      All patients who had undergone cardiac surgery using RIAVT at the Ankara City Hospital Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Clinic between 2019 and 2021 were enrolled in the study. Preoperative echocardiographic diagnoses, intraoperative surgical data and postoperative morbidity data of the patients was obtained. In addition, surgical incision length was measured and recorded for the evaluation of cosmetic outcome. This data was then compared with data from similar studies in the literature.


      Between January 2019 and December 2021, 59 patients were operated on using RIAVT. Of the RIAVT patients, 45 (76%) were female and 14 (24%) were male. The mean weight of the patients was 22.38±12.48 kg. Although the youngest patient was a 5-month-old infant weighing 4 kg, the oldest one was 15-years-old weighing 57 kg. Isolated secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) repair (primary or patch) was performed in 47 patients. One (1) patient with Primum ASD and mitral cleft, 1 patient with secundum ASD and perimembranous ventricular septal defect (VSD) repair, nine patients with high venosum ASD and PAPVC, and one patient with a discrete subaortic membrane were operated on. The surgical incision length was between 4 to 5 cm.


      RIAVT is an important surgical alternative to median sternotomy in selected cases with certain pathologies. It can be performed safely in various congenital heart anomalies and provides excellent functional and cosmetic results in the long-term when compared to other surgical methods.


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