Immediate and long-term results after surgical treatment of primary spontaneous pneumothorax by VATS

Ann Thorac Surg. 1996 Jun;61(6):1641-5. doi: 10.1016/0003-4975(96)00190-7.


Background: Video-assisted thoracic surgery has recently evolved as a viable alternative to thoracotomy for spontaneous pneumothorax.

Methods: A series of 163 patients with primary spontaneous pneumothorax were treated by video-assisted thoracic surgery. Seventy patients were treated for a recurrent episode, 64 patients for a persistent primary spontaneous pneumothorax, 24 patients for a contralateral episode, and 5 patients for a bilateral primary spontaneous pneumothorax. Stapling of bullae with an Endo-GIA stapler (Auto-Suture, Elencourt, France) was performed in 90% of the cases and parietal pleural abrasion was performed in each case.

Results: One revisional lateral limited thoracotomy was required for bleeding. Six patients had a prolonged air leak; 2 of them were reoperated on by lateral limited thoracotomy. Two patients have had an incomplete reexpansion of the lung and required a reoperation. The duration of hospitalization was 6.9 +/- 3 days. With a mean follow-up of 24.5 months, three recurrences requiring a reoperation occurred; 3 other patients had a partial recurrence and healed by rest without drainage. The mean time to return to the occupational activity of the patients was 42 +/- 34 days. These results were compared with those of a previous series of 87 patients operated on by lateral limited thoracotomy.

Conclusions: With the development of surgical technique and video equipment, video-assisted thoracic surgery will probably become the treatment of choice of primary spontaneous pneumothorax.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Endoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Postoperative / etiology
  • Pleura / surgery
  • Pneumothorax / surgery*
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / surgery
  • Recurrence
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Staplers
  • Surgical Stapling
  • Thoracoscopy* / adverse effects
  • Thoracotomy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Video Recording*