Efficacy of polyglycolic acid sheet after thoracoscopic bullectomy for spontaneous pneumothorax

Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 Jun;95(6):1919-23. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2013.03.011. Epub 2013 Apr 25.


Background: Various procedures have been performed to decrease the incidence of recurrent postoperative pneumothorax after thoracoscopic bullectomy. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of a polyglycolic acid (PGA) sheet and pleural abrasion for prevention of recurrent postoperative pneumothorax.

Methods: From January 2009 to August 2011, 257 patients underwent thoracoscopic bullectomy for primary spontaneous pneumothorax. In group A, 128 patients underwent pleural abrasion. These patients were compared with 129 patients (group B) who underwent a procedure to cover stable lines with an absorbable PGA sheet in addition to pleural abrasion.

Results: There was no difference in preoperative demographics, although the age of patients in group A was statistically higher than that of patients in group B (23.67 ± 6.54 versus 21.69 ± 5.65; p = 0.010). In group A, prolonged postoperative air leaks (≥ 3 days) occurred more frequently (7.8% versus 2.3%; p = 0.045). A Kaplan-Meier curve showed that recurrence-free rates were higher in group B (p = 0.047).

Conclusions: Coverage with PGA sheet and pleural abrasion after thoracoscopic bullectomy is effective for preventing prolonged postoperative air leaks and reducing postoperative recurrence rates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Pleurodesis / methods*
  • Pneumothorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumothorax / surgery*
  • Polyglycolic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Radiography
  • Reference Values
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Polyglycolic Acid