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Evaluation of Spontaneous Pneumothorax Surgeries: A 16-Year Experience in Japan
Background: Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery is the surgical procedure of choice for spontaneous pneumothorax due to its noninvasiveness and convenience. A higher recurrence rate with thoracoscopic bullectomy (TB) than that after traditional thoracotomy (TT) led us to adopt thoracoscopic double-loop ligation (TLL) as our standard procedure in 1998. This study compares the effectiveness and safety of these 3 operative procedures. Methods: Patients who underwent their first surgery for spontaneous pneumothorax at our hospital between January 1994 and December 2010 were included. Patients with a history of surgery for spontaneous pneumothorax, those with special clinical conditions such as lymphangioleiomyomatosis, or those with catamenial, traumatic, or iatrogenic pneumothorax were excluded. Results: A total of 777 males (14-91 years old; 814 pneumothorax sides), and 96 females (16-78 years old; 99 pneumothorax sides) were included in the study. TT was performed in 137 patients (143 sides), TB in 106 patients (112 sides), and TLL in 630 patients (658 sides). The postoperative recurrence rates were 3.5%, 16.1%, and 5.3% in the TT, TB, and TLL groups, respectively (p < 0.0001). Mean blood loss and operating time were lowest for TLL. Conclusions: The results suggest that TLL should be the surgical procedure of choice for spontaneous pneumothorax.
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