Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax: Surgery for the First Occurrence? An Early Experience from Nepal
Ranjan Sapkota, Arjun Gurung, Aakriti Sharma
Bullectomy, First episode, Pneumothorax, Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery
Citation Information :
Sapkota R, Gurung A, Sharma A. Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax: Surgery for the First Occurrence? An Early Experience from Nepal. Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci 2023; 65 (1):18-21.
Background: Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is a common thoracic surgical emergency affecting otherwise healthy young individuals. Its treatment options range from observation to surgery in the form of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Surgery, generally reserved for recurrence, is gradually being utilized for certain patients presenting with PSP for the first time. In this study, we aim to report our experience of VATS in the surgical management of first episodes of PSP.
Methods: A retrospective review of prospectively maintained data on all the patients undergoing surgical management during the first presentation of PSP, over a period of 10 years, was done.
Results: Over the period of 10 years, out of 95 patients who underwent thoracoscopic bullectomy for pneumothorax, a total of 42 patients had presented with PSP for the first time. Most (54%) were aged 20–40 years, with male predominance (83%); right-sided (69%); commonest symptom was shortness of breath (83.3%) with a median duration of symptoms of 5.9 days. Apical bullae were the commonest computed tomographic finding (88%). Majority of the patients underwent VATS via three ports, and multiple apical bullae were the most common intraoperative findings. Four patients (9.5%) had an air leak postoperatively, managed conservatively. Average intensive care unit stay was 23 hours; average chest tube duration was 3.6 days; and the average hospital stay was 8.2 days. There was no 30-day mortality and no recurrences were noted during a median follow-up of 2 years.
Conclusion: Our initial experience with surgery for the first episode of PSP has been shown to be safe and effective. Larger and more robust studies with longer follow-ups would be necessary to better delineate the role of surgery in such patients.
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