Congenital cardiac comorbidities represent a potentially elevated risk for complications in patients undergoing cleft lip repair. National databases, such as the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Pediatric (NSQIP-P) allow for analysis of large national datasets to assess these risks and potential complications. The aim of this study is to assess the risk of complications in patients undergoing cleft lip repair with congenital cardiac co-morbidities using the NSQIP-P.
The 2012 to 2014 NSQIP-P databases were queried for patients undergoing cleft lip repair. Data abstracted for analysis included demographic, clinical, and outcomes data. Patients with cleft lip were stratified based on the presence or absence of congenital cardiac comorbidities. Univariate analysis and step-wise, forward logistic regression were performed to compare these groups.
Nationally, between 2012 and 2014, 2126 patients underwent cleft lip repair, 227 with cardiac disease, and 1899 without cardiac disease. Weights were similar between the groups at the time of surgery, though patients with cardiac comorbidities were older. Postoperatively, cardiac disease patients were more likely to experience an adverse event. Specifically, they were more likely to experience reintubation, reoperation, longer length of stay, and death. Rates of surgical site infection and dehiscence were not different between the groups.
This study demonstrates that cleft lip repair in patients with congenital heart defects is safe. However, patients undergoing cleft lip repair with comorbid congenital cardiac disease were more likely to experience adverse events. Cardiac patients require special preoperative evaluation before repair of their cleft lip, but do not appear to experience worse wound-related outcomes.