Video-assisted Thoracoscopy for Spontaneous Pneumothorax after Pneumonectomy
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In this paper, we present 3 patients who had previously undergone pneumonectomy and then presented with a spontaneous pneumothorax. The indication for pneumonectomy was tuberculosis and NSCLC in 2 and 1 patient, respectively. The interval between the surgery and development of pneumothorax was 2, 4, and 11 years. On admission, 2 of the 3 patients were in extreme respiratory distress requiring urgent chest tube insertion. In all patients we undertook elective video-assisted thoracoscopy with complete preparation for cardiopulmonary support on the side. Bullectorny and/or diathermy ablation for apical bullae and blebs were performed concomitantly with total parietal pleurectomy. The postoperative course was uneventful in the patients, and they remain on routine follow-up for up to 6-12 months without any complaints. Our experience suggests that emphysematous changes in the remaining lung should be carefully inspected during long-term follow-up after pneumonectomy. Video-assisted thoracoscopic (VAT) pleurectomy appears to be a good option for the management of spontaneous pneumothorax only if it is performed by a dedicated multidisciplinary team with various cardiopulmonary support facilities on the side. (Heart, Lung and Circulation 2009;18:296-312) (c) 2008 Australasian Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.