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Right Axillary Thoracotomy for Transatrial Repair of a Wide Range of Congenital Heart Defects
The right axillary thoracotomy allows repair of a wide range of congenital heart defects. From 2008 to 2016, 48 patients* underwent surgical repair through the right chest. There were no mortalities, residual defects, or peri-operative complications. In the authors’ experience, the cosmetic results are highly appreciated, as the approach is far from breast tissue with minimal potential for asymmetrical breast growth. No muscles are sacrificed in this approach, which leads to rapid functional recovery of the right arm. With gained experience and surgeon comfort, a right axillary thoracotomy can achieve the same high standards and repair quality as a median sternotomy. This video shows the closure of a ventricular septal defect via a right axillary thoracotomy in a 10-month-old baby girl.
*The operations included: 26 ASD, 10 ventricular septal defects (3 with double-chambered right ventricle), 8 Warden operations for partial anomalous pulmonary venous return, 3 partial atrio-ventricular canals with mitral valve cleft, and 1 cor triatriatum. The patients ranged in age from 4 months to 18 years, and weighed 5.5 – 82kg.