Article Abstract

Nonintubated uniportal video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for primary spontaneous pneumothorax

Authors: Shuben Li, Fei Cui, Jun Liu, Xin Xu, Wenlong Shao, Weiqiang Yin, Hanzhang Chen, Jianxing He


Objective: The objective of the current study was to evaluate the feasibility and safety of nonintubated uniportal video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for the management of primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP).
Methods: From November 2011 to June 2013, 32 consecutive patients with PSP were treated by nonintubated uniportal thoracoscopic bullectomy using epidural anaesthesia and sedation without endotracheal intubation. An incision 2 cm in length was made at the 6th intercostal space in the median axillary line. The pleural space was entered by blunt dissection for placement of a soft incision protector. Instruments were then inserted through the incision protector to perform thoracoscopic bullectomy. Data were collected within a minimum follow-up period of 10 months.
Results: The average time of surgery was 49.0 min (range 33-65 min). No complications were recorded. The postoperative feeding time was 6 h. The mean postoperative chest tube drainage and hospital stay were 19.3 h and 41.6 h, respectively. The postoperative pain was mild for 30 patients (93.75%) and moderate for two patients (6.25%). No recurrences of pneumothorax were observed at follow-up.
Conclusions: The initial results indicated that nonintubated uniportal video-assisted thoracoscopic operations are not only technically feasible, but may also be a safe and less invasive alternative for select patients in the management of PSP. This is the first report to include the use of a nonintubated uniportal technique in VATS for such a large number of PSP cases. Further work and development of instruments are needed to define the applications and advantages of this technique.