Objective: The optimal management of bronchial fistulae remains a surgical challenge. To assess the relative efficacy of the transsternal approach in the treatment of short stump bronchial fistula we analyzed a cohort of patients who underwent this type of surgery in our department during an almost 19 year period. Methods: Of a series of 49 patients with short stump bronchial fistula who were treated via the transsternal approach, 15 underwent bifurcational sleeve resection and 34 had tracheal wedge resections. In 19 cases the tracheal defects was up to 30 mm in diameter. in the remaining 30 cases the length was less than 10 mm. In all cases tracheobronchial fistulae were associated with concomitant empyema. Surgical debridement of the empyema cavity was achieved by VATS application. In five patients who underwent primary surgery for lung cancer tumor recurrence was seen in distal margins of the resected defect. Results: There was no intraoperative mortality. Two patients died from acute pneumonia at postoperative day 3 and adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) at postoperative day 7, respectively. Two further patients died due to anastomotic dehiscence from sepsis and respiratory failure the overall hospital mortality being 8 (16%). Major complications included one right pulmonary artery injury (2%), two healing disturbances after tracheal wedge resection and five after sleeve resection of the bifurcation. Late complication occurred in six patients (13.3%) with delayed healing at the suture site who later required treatment, two of these required additional stent applications. Conclusions: Surgical treatment of patients with short stump tracheobronchial fistulae by means of a transsternal approach allows reliable closure with low mortality and morbidity. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
Porhanov, V., Poliakov, I., Kononenko, V., Selvaschuk, A., Bodnya, V., Semendiaev, S., … Marchenko, L. (2000). Surgical treatment of “short stump” bronchial fistula. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 17(1), 2–7. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1010-7940(99)00354-1