What to Expect
The diagnosis of vascular rings can occur in several different ways. However, all patients require a CT or MRI evaluation of the chest and, in addition, a bronchoscopic exam by one of our ENT colleagues. These patients also receive an echocardiogram of the heart. Typically, these studies can be accomplished within one day. All patients are evaluated by a multidisciplinary team including Ear-Nose-Throat physicians, Medical Imaging and Cardiology.
The vascular rings that are repaired through a left thoracotomy usually entail a two-day hospital stay for the simpler vascular rings and a five-day hospital stay for the more extensive procedures. Patients undergoing pulmonary artery sling repair are operated on through a median sternotomy, with the use of cardiopulmonary bypass. The average length of stay for these patients is five to seven days.
The results of vascular ring surgery are excellent – we haven’t had operative mortality in the past 30 years and more than 90% of our patients see their symptoms resolve.