Norwood Operation: Immediate vs Delayed Sternal Closure

Academic Article


  • Background: The Norwood operation is a complex neonatal surgery. There are limited data to inform the timing of sternal closure. After the Norwood operation, delayed sternal closure (DSC) is frequent. We aimed to examine the association of DSC with outcomes, with a particular interest in how sternal closure at the time of surgery compared with the timing of DSC. Our outcomes included mortality, length of ventilation, length of stay, and postoperative complications. Methods: This retrospective study included neonates who underwent a Norwood operation reported in the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium registry from February 2019 through April 2021. Outcomes of patients with closed sternum were compared to those with sternal closure prior to postoperative day 3 (early closure) and prior to postoperative day 6 (intermediate closure). Results: The incidence of DSC was 74% (500 of 674). The median duration of open sternum was 4 days (interquartile range 3-5 days). Comparing patients with closed sternum to patients with early sternal closure, there was no statistical difference in mortality rate (1.1% vs 0%) and the median hospital postoperative stay (30 days vs 31 days). Compared with closed sternum, patients with intermediate sternal closure required longer mechanical ventilation (5.9 days vs 3.9 days) and fewer subsequent sternotomies (3% vs 7.5%). Conclusions: For important outcomes following the Norwood operation there is no advantage to chest closure at the time of surgery if the chest can be closed prior to postoperative day 3.
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    Author List

  • Asfari A; Jacobs JP; Byrnes JW; Borasino S; Prodhan P; Zaccagni H; Dabal RJ; Sorabella RA; Hammel JM; Smith-Parrish M
  • Start Page

  • 649
  • End Page

  • 654
  • Volume

  • 115
  • Issue

  • 3