Background: Although management of spontaneous pneumothorax by video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) has generally shown superior clinical results to thoracotomy, management of spontaneous pneumothorax by transaxillary minithoracotomy (TAMT) has also shown good clinical results. The objective of this study was to compare the clinical results of VATS and TAMT in treating spontaneous pneumothorax.
Methods: Sixty-six patients, aged 13 to 81 years, with recurrent, persistent or contralateral spontaneous pneumothorax were involved in this study. Thirty-six patients were treated by VATS and 30 by TAMT. The operating time, the amount of analgesics used on the first postoperative day, the duration of the indwelling chest tube, and the number of recurrences after operation were compared. The follow-up periods of both procedures were from 6 to 24 months.
Results: Of the 66 patients, 64 were male and 2 were female. The duration of operation, from start of skin incision to insertion of chest tube, was 91.2 +/- 36.8 minutes in VATS and 86.3 +/- 40.9 minutes in TAMT (p = 0.6061). The amount of analgesics (keptoprofen) used was 1.9 +/- 2.3 ampules in VATS and 2.1 +/- 2.9 ampules in TAMT (p = 0.0883). The duration of indwelling chest tube was 5.0 +/- 4.0 days in VATS and 4.3 +/- 2.1 days in TAMT (p = 0.3707). The number of recurrences after operation was 4 in VATS and none in TAMT.
Conclusions: There were no advantages of VATS over TAMT for management of recurrent, persistent, or contralateral spontaneous pneumothorax in regard to the operating time, the amount of analgesics used on the first postoperative day, the duration of the indwelling chest tube, and the number of postoperative recurrences in patients with apical bullae.