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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY
Rivista di Chirurgia Cardiaca, Vascolare e Toracica
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES THORACIC PAPERS
The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2000 Ottobre;41(5):767-71
Usefulness of thoracoscopic surgery in the diagnosis and management of thoracic diseases
Petrakis I., Katsamouris A., Drossitis I., Bouros D., Chalkiadakis G.
From the Division of Thoracic Surgery University Hospital of Herakleion University Medical School of Herakleion University of Crete, Greece
Background. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has been recently utilised in the diagnosis and management of thoracic diseases. In this article we report our series of patients with established indications for VATS treatment.
Methods. Over the past 6 years we performed 104 VATS procedures for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in 95 men and 39 women. The specific indications for VATS were: lung biopsy for undiagnosed diffuse lung disease, mediastinal biopsy and cysts, pleural effusion, empyema, pneumothorax and bullous lung disease, pericardial effusion and cyst, parvertebral abscess and solitary pulmonary nodules.
Results. There was no operative mortality. Posto-perative non-fatal complications were seen in 7 cases. The overall median duration of chest tube drainage was 2.5 days and the mean postoperative stay 3 days. In diffuse lung disease a tissue diagnosis was obtained in all cases. Definitive diagnosis in the patients with undiagnosed pleural effusion was obtained in 90% of cases and the overall diagnostic rate was 98.5%. The success rate of the empyema (stage II) treatment and the therapeutic procedures is 100% after a mean follow-up of 12 months (range 6-30). Conversion to thoracotomy was needed in 6 cases. In all patients the postoperative pain was controlled with intake of non-narcotic analgesics with satisfactory results.
Conclusions. VATS is worth considering and has been established as procedure of choice, with exceptional results in various chest diseases such as undiagnosed pleural effusions, recurrent, post-traumatic or complicated spontaneous pneumothorax, stage II empyema, accurate staging for lung cancer in the resection of peripheral solitary pulmonary nodule less than 3 cm, and lung biopsy for pulmonary diffuse disease.