A child born with a congenital birth defect today has a much higher probability of reaching adulthood than in the past. Significant advances in neonatal resuscitation and surgical management have improved prognoses for diseases such as congenital diaphragmatic hernia, esophageal atresia, and imperforate anus. As these children grow into adolescence, new challenges emerge as results from long-term studies that show ongoing morbidity among adolescent and adult survivors demonstrate a clear need for structured and formal transitional care.1,2 Unanswered, however, are the questions of how and when the transition of care should take place. Few quantitative data exist about patients’ transition to adult care and their long-term follow-up. A growing body of literature suggests that there are long-term sequelae of many surgically corrected congenital anomalies, such as metaplastic changes in patients with esophageal atresia repair and chest wall deformities in patients undergoing thoracotomy in infancy. Survivors of congenital surgical disease are those who will benefit most from standardized approaches to transitional care. Our study seeks to quantify the need for transitional surgical care for pediatric patients with surgical anomalies in the coming decades.
Zhao JY, Chiu PPL, Dasgupta R, Jen HC, Rothstein DH. Defining the Need for Transitional Care From Pediatric to Adult Surgery for Young Adult Patients With Surgically Corrected Congenital Anomalies. JAMA Surg. 2016;151(4):393-394. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.4417