Thoracoscopic lobectomy for severe bronchiectasis in children

J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2009 Aug;19(4):555-7. doi: 10.1089/lap.2009.0093.


Background/purpose: Lung resection should be considered for severe, localized bronchiectasis causing recurrent infections in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and other diseases. This series represents our experience and results with thoracoscopic lobectomy for the treatment of severe bronchiectasis confined to a single lobe.

Methods: Nineteen thoracoscopic anatomic lobectomies were performed between July 1994 and August 2008. Patient age at the time of surgery ranged from 14 months to 22 years. Left lower lobectomy was the most frequently performed procedure (n = 9). Eight patients suffered from CF, 5 had chronic pneumonia, 2 had chronic aspiration, and 3 had other diagnoses.

Results: Mean operative time was 162 minutes (range, 65-300), and no cases required a conversion to thoracotomy. The mean duration of postoperative chest tube drainage was 3.2 days (range, 1-9). The mean postoperative length of stay was 3.6 days (range, 1-12). One patient had a prolonged air leak lasting 9 days, which resolved with the placement of a second chest tube. Another had a small hydropneumothorax, which persisted after chest tube removal but resolved spontaneously.

Conclusions: Thoracoscopic lobectomy for severe lobar bronchiectasis with recurrent infection is technically challenging, but appears to be safe and effective. Avoidance of a thoracotomy, in this group of patients, allows for earlier mobilization, less postoperative pain with cough and chest physiotherapy, and faster recovery. There appear to be significant benefits in these patients with chronic respiratory illnesses.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bronchiectasis / etiology
  • Bronchiectasis / pathology
  • Bronchiectasis / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pneumonectomy*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracoscopy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult