Management of alveolar air leaks after pulmonary resection

Ann Thorac Surg. 2010 Apr;89(4):1327-35. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2009.09.020.


Air leaks are a common problem after pulmonary resection and can be a source of significant morbidity and mortality. Air leaks are associated with prolonged hospital stays, and infectious and cardiopulmonary complications, and they occasionally require reoperation. Despite reasonably robust literature on the topic, the optimal approaches to manage postoperative air leaks remain controversial. We used available literature and expert consensus to formulate suggestions regarding the preferred approaches to both routine and prolonged alveolar air leaks. This review summarizes our findings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air
  • Humans
  • Pneumonectomy / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy