Lung reduction surgery in chronic obstructive lung disease

Med Clin North Am. 1996 May;80(3):623-44. doi: 10.1016/s0025-7125(05)70457-0.


In the 1960s the promise of the Brantigan lung reduction surgery was shattered when it was shown that the improvement in airway conductance drifted back towards the preoperative value over a period of 12 to 18 months. Since then there has been a marked improvement in our understanding of emphysema, its pathology, and techniques for obtaining images of the lung. In addition, reliable automated cardiopulmonary and physiologic testing, advances in critical care medicine, and new pharmacologic agents have improved patient care. Surgical techniques now allow better control of air leaks and access to anatomic regions not previously accessible. The combination of all of the above makes lung reduction surgery worth re-examining as a palliative procedure for severely symptomatic patients. Clearly, it is not a panacea but can in some cases produce dramatic improvements in symptomatology and quality of life. This article presents the available data describing potential mechanisms of improvement and clinical outcomes following lung reduction surgery. It also outlines areas that need further work, such as patient selection and surgical techniques.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular System / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / surgery*
  • Patient Selection
  • Pneumonectomy*
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / surgery
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiopathology
  • Thoracoscopy