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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2012 February;67(1):87-94


language: Italian

Clinical effect of bovine pericardial strips on air leak after stapled pulmonary resection in “frail” patients: early results

Lococo F., Cesario A., Margaritora S., Nachira D., Leuzzi G., Porziella V., Meacci E., Vita M. L., Congedo M. T., Granone P.

Divisione di Chirurgia Toracica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma, Italia


AIM: Postoperative air leaks and in particular persistent air leaks (>5 days) after pulmonary resection still represent a common complication and the first cause of hospital stay delay. Aim of this experimental trial was to investigate the efficacy of the use of bovine pericardium strips (in terms of reduction of postoperative leakage and hospital stay) in “critical” patients (COPD, emphysema etc.) who underwent pulmonary resection.
METHODS:From October 2010 to February 2011, eight patients (experimental group, Group A) were preoperative selected and underwent pulmonary resection with bovine pericardium strips (Peri-Strips Dry; Synovis ). The inclusion criteria of a “frail patient” were established by a dedicate pneumologist according with clinical and functional data (predicted postoperative FEV1 ranging from 35% and 80% of the theorical predicted value). For comparison, from January 2010 to September 2010, we retrospectively reviewed the data of 28 patients who satisfied the same inclusion criteria and underwent pulmonary resection with standard surgical procedures. This group of patients represents our control group (Group B).
RESULTS:There were no significant differences between the two groups in age, gender, preoperative risk factors for developing a postoperative air leak, preop FEV1 and type of resection. No technical deficiencies in the use of bovine pericardium strips were observed in Group A. Postoperative leakage was significant different in the two groups being persistent air leak detected in 0% in Group A versus 17.8% of Group B (P=0.046). Consequently, chest tube duration (6.75±0.84 days [Group A] vs. 9.70±1.26 days (Group B), P=0.019) and hospital stay (10.13±0.83 days [Group A] vs. 12.95±1.37 days [Group B], P=0.013) were lower in the experimental group.
CONCLUSION:Bovine pericardium strips are safe and easy-to-do technique to reduce postoperative air leaks after pulmonary resection in “critical” patients.

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