Author(s): Calafiore AM, Di Giammarco G, Teodori G, Gallina S, Maddestra N,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Our experience with a left internal thoracic artery graft to the left anterior descending artery via a left anterior small thoracotomy is reviewed to evaluate midterm results. METHODS: From November 1994 to April 1997, four hundred sixty patients were scheduled to undergo a left internal thoracic artery graft to the left anterior descending coronary artery via a left anterior small thoracotomy; 26 of these patients (5.7\%) were converted and 434 of them had the operation. Two hundred fourteen patients (49.3\%) had isolated disease of the left anterior descending artery, and 220 patients (50.7\%) had multiple vessel disease. A sufficient length of the left internal thoracic artery was harvested to reach the left anterior descending artery. RESULTS: Three hundred nine patients (71.2\%) underwent extubation by hour 2. Mean intensive care unit stay was 4.2 +/- 4.5 hours; mean postoperative hospital stay was 66 +/- 29 hours; the 30-day mortality rate was 1.1\%; the late mortality rate was 1.4\%. Eighteen patients underwent reoperation early (< or = 30 days), and eight patients underwent reoperation late (> 30 days) because of conduit/anastomotic malfunction. Four patients underwent reoperation with patent anastomosis for progression of disease (n = 3) or pericarditis (n = 1). Three patients had a percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty. Cumulating angiographic and stress Doppler flow assessment results, a patent anastomosis was obtained in 417 patients and a nonrestrictive anastomosis in 404 patients. Twenty-nine months after surgery, survival was 97.1\% +/- 0.7\% (95\% confidence interval 90.5\% to 100\%) and event-free survival 89.4\% +/- 1.2\% (95\% confidence interval 78.2\% to 100\%). In the last 190 patients, with our increased experience and better instruments, we obtained a patent anastomosis in 188 patients (98.9\%) and a nonrestrictive anastomosis in 185 (97.4\%). CONCLUSIONS: Left anterior small thoracotomy gives acceptable midterm results. Incidence of patent and nonrestrictive anastomoses was satisfactory, especially in the most recent part of our experience, when the learning curve ended.
This article was published in J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology