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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2001 April;56(2):161-8

language: Italian

Simultaneous bilateral pneumothorax. Case report

Paolini A., Caminiti F., Tosato F., Ruggieri M., Paolini G., Carnevale L., Corsini F., Marano S., Monsellato I.


A case report of a 44 year-old white man admitted to the surgical unit for a bilateral simultaneous pneumothorax is presented. The pneumothorax occurred on day one after a surgical operation for discal hernia; in the past the patient already presented a right spontaneous pneumothorax at 32 years of age and a left pneumothorax at 37 years of age, both treated with a pleural drainage. A thoracic drain was bilaterally positioned with a good result only in the right side. The persistence of the left pneumothorax induced the authors to perform a postero-lateral thoracotomy bullae excision and pleurectomy with a good postoperative course. After a few months a new right pneumothorax occurred and the patient was treated with a right postero-lateral thoracotomy, bullae resection and pleurectomy. On the basis of the case reported, the authors consider the different opportunities in the treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax in relation to the present knowledges and technologies. Surgical procedure is to be preferred in case of persistence of pneumothorax despite a pleural drain and in case of pneumothorax in high risk subjects. Even if thoracoscopy seems to give better results regarding postoperative pain, it is not always possible with such a method to perform a careful pleurectomy neither to obtain it in all cases (above all in secondary pneumothorax). Every case must then be carefully studied to choose the best treatment at present available.

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