Purpose To compare the perioperative variables and clinical outcomes of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) with the traditional open thoracotomy approach for anterior spinal release and posterior fusion in the treatment of paediatric scoliosis.
Methods A retrospective chart review of nineteen consecutive patients treated with VATS anterior spinal release and posterior fusion was completed. An additional nineteen age- and disease-matched patients treated with open thoracotomy were also reviewed for comparison.
Results VATS patients achieved a larger post-operative curve correction compared to those that underwent thoracotomy (p= .01). The VATS group also received less transfused blood during the procedure (p= .03). The open thoracotomy patients experienced less post-operative chest tube drainage (p= .02), and as a result had their chest tubes removed earlier (p= .01). There was no difference in operating time, total blood loss, length of ventilator use, length of ICU stay, or length of hospital stay. There were no major complications in either group.
Conclusions Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery continues to be a safe and successful approach for the treatment of paediatric scoliosis. This study shows that it is possible to achieve large post-operative curve corrections and reduce the amount of transfused blood needed using the VATS technique.
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