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Minerva Chirurgica 2002 October;57(5):625-34

language: English

Reduction pneumoplasty for severe emphysema. Does the debate await a neat sentence?

Mineo T. C., Pompeo E.


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The aim of this study is to review the literature regarding reduction pneumoplasty (RP) or lung volume reduction surgery in order to assess the state of the art of this topic. Reduction pneumoplasty is a palliative surgical therapy that is offered to selected patients with severe non-bullous emphysema not responding to maximized medical therapy. The use of staple excision or plication of the most destroyed target areas of the lung appeared to be more effective than laser ablation. Currently, a one-stage bilateral procedure is the standard of care although a unilateral reduction can be preferable in patients with asymmetric emphysema and/or if a staged bilateral treatment strategy is planned. Randomized studies have suggested that RP is superior to medical therapy including respiratory rehabilitation for improving subjective dyspnea, exercise capacity, respiratory function and quality of life for up to 1 year. In addition, few long-term studies have suggested that the improvements obtained with RP can be maintained for several years in properly selected patients. Although several issues still await a definitive answer, the available literature data and our current experience have clearly indicated that RP works well and is a safe and effective procedure for palliating symptoms and improving respiratory function in severely disabled emphysematous patients.

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