Limited Axillary Thoracotomy for Recurrent Spontaneous Pneumothorax
I. Bar, M. Simha, A. Nissan, Y. Shargal, M. Kramer, G. Merin
Depts. of Cardiothoracic Surgery and of Surgery, and Pulmonary Institute, Hadassah--University Hospital, Ein Karem; and Dept. of Surgery, Hadassah--University Hospital, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem
Recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax often requires surgical intervention. Recently, less invasive thoracic surgical techniques, such as video-assisted thoracoscopy (VAT) and limited axillary thoracotomy (LAT), have been developed and used for different thoracic procedures. We describe our results with limited axillary thoracotomy, as compared with those of video-assisted thoracoscopy as reported in the literature. From October 1994 to May 1996, 14 patients with recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax, aged 16-33 years, underwent limited axillary thoracotomy, resection of blebs and apical pleurectomy, using multifire GIA 80 staplers (Auto Suture Inc.). There were no complications or recurrences during 5-17 months of follow-up. Mean operative time was 52.2 minutes and mean hospital stay 2.3 days postoperatively. Full activity was regained within 12.1 days. In comparison with over 75 cases of VAT from the literature, LAT is safe and offers the potential benefits of decreased operative time, hospital stay and cost.