Thoracoscopic surgery as a routine procedure for spontaneous pneumothorax. Results from 82 patients

Chest. 1995 Feb;107(2):559-62. doi: 10.1378/chest.107.2.559.


A total of 82 consecutive patients with recurrent or persistent spontaneous pneumothorax were considered for thoracoscopic blebectomy or bullectomy and pleurodesis. The median age was 47 years, and 70% were men. All the patients were successfully treated using a video-assisted thoracoscopic technique. There were no deaths attributable to the procedure. Complications occurred in 6 patients (7.3%). Three patients (4%) with diffuse bullous lung disease had prolonged intubation (9, 11, and 12 days, respectively). Persistent air leaks lasting from 10 to 14 days occurred in 2 patients (3%). One patient had an endoloop slip from the lung parenchyma after a forceful sneeze 2 days after the operation. Air leak subsided after the second operation using a conventional suturing technique. Blebs or bullae were present in 69 patients (83%). These were ablated by endoscopic stapling (37 patients) and through thoracoscopic ligation using an endoloop technique (32 patients). In this group of patients, the median postoperative hospital stay was 5 days. Thirteen patients with air leaks and diffuse bullous lung disease received only talc insufflation thoracoscopically. All of them showed good lung expansion after the operation. There are no recurrences, with a mean follow-up of 22 months. These results suggest that thoracoscopic ablation of blebs or bullae and pleurodesis may be applicable to patients with spontaneous pneumothorax who require surgical intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumothorax / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Thoracoscopy*
  • Video Recording