Surgical management of bronchiectasis: analysis and short-term results in 238 patients

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2003 Nov;24(5):699-702. doi: 10.1016/s1010-7940(03)00497-4.


Objective: Bronchiectasis is defined permanent dilatations of bronchi with destruction of the bronchial wall. It is still a major cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. The aim of this retrospective study is to present our surgical experiences, the early and long-term results of 238 patients with bronchiectasis during a 10-year period.

Methods: We reviewed the medical records of 238 patients who underwent surgical resection for bronchiectasis between January 1992 and December 2001, at Gülhane Military Medical Academy (GMMA) Thoracic Surgery Department. Variables of age, sex, symptoms, etiology, and type of operation, mortality, morbidity and the result of surgical therapy were analyzed.

Results: There were 205 (86.13%) male and 33 (13.87%) female patients with an average age of 23.7 and a range of 15-48 years. The presenting symptoms were productive cough in 133 (55.88%), fetid sputum in 116 (48.73%), recurrent infections in 84 (35.29%), and hemoptysis in 39 (12.18%) patients. The disease was bilateral in 31 patients (13.02%) and mainly confined to the lower lobes in 162 (68.06%). The surgical treatment was as follows: pneumonectomy in 13 patients (5.46%), lobectomy in 189 (79.40%), lobectomy+segmentectomy in 31 (13.02%), and wedge resection or segmentectomy in five (2.1%). Staged bilateral thoracotomy was used in 14 patients. There was no operative mortality. Complications occurred in 21 patients and the morbidity rate was 8.82%. Complete resection was achieved in 154 (64.7%) patients. Follow-up data were obtained for 229 (96.21%) of the patients. Nine patients were lost to follow-up. The mean follow-up of these patients was 9 months (range, 3 months to 4 years). The symptoms disappeared in 189 patients (79.41%) and 29 patients (12.18%) had improved, whereas 11 patients (4.62%) had no improvement. Significantly better results were obtained in patients who had undergone a complete resection.

Conclusions: Surgical resection for bronchiectasis can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality at any age. The involved bronchiectatic sites should be resected completely for the optimum control of symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Bronchiectasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Bronchiectasis / microbiology
  • Bronchiectasis / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy / adverse effects
  • Pneumonectomy / methods*
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome