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Surg Endosc. 2004 Mar;18(3):466-71. Epub 2004 Feb 2.

Results of thoracoscopic pleural abrasion for primary spontaneous pneumothorax.

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Thoracic Department, Institut Mutualiste Montsouris, 42 Boulevard Jourdan, F-75014 Paris, France.



Several video-assisted techniques have been used to treat primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP). The aim of this study was to evaluate the results of thoracoscopic pleural abrasion for PSP.


From 1991 to 2003, 185 consecutive patients, 143 male and 42 female, aged 15 to 60 years (average 31.6) underwent thoracoscopic pleural abrasion for PSP. The indications for surgery were as follows: a first episode with persistent air leak in 33 patients (17.9%), a recurrent ipsilateral pneumothorax in 122 patients (65.9%), a previous contralateral pneumothorax in 23 patients (12.4%), and recurrence after surgical treatment in seven patients (3.8%). Bullae were resected in 163 patients (88.1%). Mechanical pleural abrasion was performed in all cases.


There were no deaths. Intraoperative hemorrhage occurred in three patients. It was controlled via thoracotomy in one patient and via thoracoscopy in two patients. The postoperative complication rate was 8.1% (15/185). Complications included prolonged air leak in eight patients (4.3%), pleural effusion in two (1.1%), extrapleural hematoma in one (0.5%), chest wall infection in one (0.5%), atelectasis in one (0.5%), and hemorrhage in two (1.1%). Postoperative hospital stay ranged between 2 and 17 days (mean, 5). Mean duration of drainage was 3.8 days (range; 1-16). Postoperatively, 111 patients were contacted, with a mean follow-up of 36.5 months. Four of them had a recurrence (3.6%) that did not require reoperation.


Thoracoscopic pleural abrasion associated with bullae resection is a safe and efficient treatment for PSP. Results remain stable in the long term.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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