Thoracoscopic wedge resection of blebs under local anesthesia with sedation for treatment of a spontaneous pneumothorax

Chest. 1997 Jan;111(1):230-5. doi: 10.1378/chest.111.1.230.


We performed thoracoscopic wedge resections of blebs with a stapling device under local anesthesia with sedation in 34 consecutive patients who presented with spontaneous pneumothoraces. The indications for surgery included the absence of parietal pleural adhesions and knowledge of the precise bleb location prior to the procedure. Prior to surgery, 0.5% lidocaine was administered into the pleural space, and IV butorphanol tartrate and diazepam were administered to reduce pain and anxiety during the procedure. In our series, the thoracoscopic procedure resulted in favorable outcomes in all but two patients. There was no evidence of hemodynamic instability or arterial blood gas abnormalities encountered during the procedure. Minor postoperative complications were seen in only three patients (two with air leakage and one with transient atelectasis). One patient had a recurrence of his spontaneous pneumothorax 3 months following the procedure. Therefore, the overall success rate was 91%. We compared the results of this therapeutic modality (group 1) with those of 38 patients who underwent the procedure under general anesthesia (group 2) during the same period. The length of hospital stay was shorter in group 1 than in group 2 (4.5 +/- 1.3 vs 5.8 +/- 1.1 days; p < 0.01). Thoracoscopic wedge resections under local anesthesia are safe and offer the benefit of shorter hospital stays. We believe that this thoracoscopic technique will further simplify the surgical treatment of pneumothoraces without incremental risks.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, Local*
  • Conscious Sedation*
  • Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy / methods*
  • Pneumothorax / physiopathology
  • Pneumothorax / surgery*
  • Thoracoscopy*