Introduction: Fashioning a patent, watertight anastomosis in patients with esophageal atresia is a challenging task in pediatric surgery, particularly when performed under tension. A reproducible suture-less alternative would decrease operative time. We evaluated magnetic esophageal compression anastomoses in a novel bypass-loop swine model. Methods: Eight-week-old piglets underwent thoracotomy to mobilize the esophagus at the carina to create a U-shaped loop. Custom-made 8 mm diameter Neodymium Magnets were inserted into the esophagus proximal and distal to the loop, then mated side-to-side at the future anastomosis site. Pigs were observed for 8 (n = 4), 10 (n = 6), and 12 (n = 2) days and then sacrificed. The magnetic compression anastomosis was evaluated macroscopically, by radiography, burst pressure testing, and histology. Results: All 12 pigs survived until the endpoint. Separation of the magnets occurred at a median of 9 days. Contrast esophagrams showed patency and no leak. All anastomoses withstood pressures well over 13 kPa without leak. Histopathology showed epithelialized circular scar tissue. Conclusion: Magnetic compression anastomoses of the esophagus using our specially-designed magnets are formed between the 8th and 10th postoperative day, are patent and mechanically resistant to supraphysiologic intraluminal pressures. These data lay the basis for a potential clinical application in patients born with esophageal atresia. Level of evidence: Not applicable (experimental animal study).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health