Surgical management of bronchiectasis: the indications and outcomes

Surg Today. 2010;40(1):26-30. doi: 10.1007/s00595-009-4013-x. Epub 2009 Dec 29.


Purpose: Social limitations in addition to treatment failure, despite preventive precautions and aggressive medical treatment, are the main indications for surgery in patients with bronchiectasis. The aim of this study was to evaluate all aspects of treatment outcomes in surgically treated patients with bronchiectasis.

Methods: Ninety-two patients with bronchiectasis treated by a surgical resection between January 2002 and June 2007 were included in the study. Age, sex, symptoms, etiologic factors, radiological findings, surgical procedures, postoperative morbidity and mortality, and hospital stay were analyzed.

Results: Fifty-four patients were female and 38 were male, with an average age of 38.7 (range, 10-67) years, and 84.8% were symptomatic. The etiologic factors included frequent infections (37%), childhood infections (22%), tuberculosis (12%), foreign bodies (3%), and unknown causes (26%). Ten pneumonectomies, 36 lobectomies, 2 bilobectomies, 32 lobectomies and segmentectomies, and 12 segmentectomies were performed. The morbidity was 16%, the mortality was 1%, and the mean follow-up duration was 15.3 months. Follow-up data were obtained in 75 patients of whom 63 (84%) were asymptomatic, 8 (10.7%) were symptomatic with clinical improvement, and 4 (5.3%) had had no clinical improvement.

Conclusion: Despite the advances in preventive precautions, medical treatment, and follow-up, surgery, with its low mortality and morbidity rates, remains a good alternative in selected patients in the treatment of bronchiectasis, and fulfills the clinical and social improvement expectations of patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchiectasis / mortality
  • Bronchiectasis / surgery*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Lung / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult