Surgical treatment of bronchiectasis: 10 years' experience

Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi (Taipei). 1999 Oct;62(10):690-4.


Background: Since antibiotic therapy and vaccination have been widely used in medical practice, the incidence of bronchiectasis has decreased steadily. The principal role of surgery associated with this disease is for the treatment of complications. We present an analysis of surgical results during a 10-year period.

Methods: The medical records of bronchiectasis patients who were surgically treated were retrospectively reviewed from July, 1987, to March, 1998. The surgical indications, complications and recurrences of bronchiectasis were evaluated.

Results: A total of 41 bronchiectasis patients underwent surgical treatment from 1987 to 1998 at our hospital. There were 18 males (mean age, 37.8 +/- 15.3 years; range, 16-73 years), and 23 females (mean age, 33 +/- 7.1 years; range, 21-46 years). The indications for surgery were hemoptysis in 30, failed medical treatment in eight, suspected neoplasm in two and retention of a foreign body in one patient. Anatomic resections of the diseased sites were carried out more frequently on the left lower lobes of the lungs. In total, there were 20 left lower lobes, five right lower lobes, 10 left lingular lobes, five right middle lobes, four left upper lobes and one right upper lobe that required surgery. Surgical complications included hemorrhage in one patient, bronchopleural fistula in one and galactorrhea in one patient. The follow-up intervals were from two to 131 months (mean, 72.5 +/- 37.6 months; median, 74 months). There were two cases of recurrent symptoms and six cases of recurrent hemoptysis; all were easily controlled by medication. There were no mortalities.

Conclusions: Surgical treatment of bronchiectasis yields immediate resolution of symptoms, better quality of life and no mortalities. Cessation of smoking, avoiding air pollution and careful medical follow-up are mandatory.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnosis
  • Bronchiectasis / etiology
  • Bronchiectasis / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications