Background: Less than 50% of children with congenital lung lesions are treated thoracoscopically. There are variable data regarding the benefits and limited information on factors contributing to successful thoracoscopic lobectomies in pediatric patients. We sought to identify predictive factors leading to safe and efficient thoracoscopic lung resection. Study Design: We performed a single-center, retrospective chart review of patients (age <18 y) who underwent lung resection between June 2009 and July 2020. Pulmonary wedge resection was excluded. Data collected included demographics, perioperative findings, such as symptoms or infection, and postoperative outcomes. Univariate, multivariate, and sensitivity analyses were performed. Results: Ninety-six patients were identified. Sixty-nine patients (72%) underwent initial thoracoscopy, with 15 (22%) converting to open thoracotomy (CTO). Forty-one (43%) patients had preoperative symptoms and 15 (15.6%) had an active infection. Among symptomatic patients, 18 (43.9%) underwent thoracotomy and 23 (56%) were attempted thoracoscopically, 13 (31%) of whom were completed thoracoscopically. On univariate analysis, age >1 year, infection, preoperative symptoms, and intraoperative adhesions were associated with CTO. Older age (odds ratio [OR] = 1.041) and estimated blood loss (EBL) (OR = 2.398) were significant prognostic factors of CTO on logistic regression. Thoracoscopy was significantly associated with decreased length of stay, opioid use, chest tube duration, blood loss and need for blood transfusion. There was no difference in operative time, 30-day readmission, or mortality. Conclusions: Thoracoscopy has become a standard approach for pediatric lung resection. Our findings indicate that age < 1 year and the absence of active respiratory infection and preoperative symptoms may be predictive of successful completion of the thoracoscopic approach. Thoracoscopy offers significant advantages over the traditional open thoracotomy with regard to blood loss and opioid requirements, LOS, and chest tube duration.
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