Background: Lung lobectomy is necessary in neonatal patients for the treatment of a variety of congenital bronchopulmonary malformations. The working space required for traditional stapling devices limits their use in pediatric video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) lung lobectomy. The use of Hem-o-lok clips (Teleflex Medical Inc. Research Triangle Park, NC) has been described for a number of applications in minimally invasive surgery and may provide an alternative to traditional stapling devices for bronchial closure. Materials and methods: Twenty-four New Zealand White rabbits were used in the study. The hilus of each cranial lung lobe was sealed with the Endo GIA (Covidien Inc, Mansfield, MA) stapler or 2 Hem-o-lok clips and the lung lobe was removed. Lung inflation to leakage point was induced by incrementally increasing tidal volume. Side of leakage, volume at leakage, and airway pressure before leakage were recorded. Results: Fourteen rabbits were included in the data analysis. Leakage of air was first observed at the Hem-o-lok closure site in five rabbits and from the Endo GIA site in three rabbits. In the remaining six, both resection sites leaked simultaneously. The mean pressure before failure was 16.39 ± 7.35 mm Hg for the Hem-o-lok clips, 17.98 ± 11.12 mm Hg for the Endo GIA stapler, and 16.95 ± 3.48 mm Hg for the simultaneous failures. No statistical differences were detected in airways pressures before leakage between hilar closure devices. Conclusions: Despite advances in VATS, options for bronchial closure in pediatric patients undergoing VATS lung lobectomy remain limited. Hem-o-lok clips require less working space than traditional stapling devices and may represent an equally efficacious alternative to traditional stapling devices.
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