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Video-assisted thoracoscopy in the management of recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax



Video-assisted thoracoscopy in the management of recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax



European Journal of Surgery 161(4): 227-230



Objective: To present our experience of video-assisted thoracoscopy in the treatment of recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax, and to compare the results with those of a historical control group treated by lateral thoracotomy. Design: Prospective evaluation with historical controls. Setting: Teaching hospital, Italy. Subjects: 41 Patients with recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax, 20 of whom were treated by video-assisted thoracoscopy and 21 of whom underwent lateral thoracotomy (historical control group). Main outcome measures: Duration of chest drainage, length of hospital stay, amount of narcotic analgesia required, postoperative complications, and recurrence during follow up. Results: The mean (range) duration of chest drainage in the group who underwent video-assisted thoracoscopy was 5 days (4-7) compared with 7 days (4-13) in the control group; the corresponding figures for length of hospital stay were 6 days (4-8) compared with 10 days (5-16). 3 Patients (15%) in the thoracoscopy group required parenteral narcotic analgesia compared with 14 (66%) in the control group, and 2 (10%) developed minor complications compared with 5 (24%). The mean length of follow up was 9 months (range 1-18) compared with 26 months (19-34), and no patient in either group developed a recurrence. Conclusion: Our early results of treating recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax with video-assisted thoracoscopy have been encouraging, and we have adopted it in preference to lateral thoracotomy.

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Accession: 009724193

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PMID: 7612762


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