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Surg Endosc. 2013 Aug;27(8):2868-76. doi: 10.1007/s00464-013-2843-5. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Right or left first during bilateral thoracoscopy?

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Department of Anesthesia, Apollo Hospital, E 348, Greater Kailash Part One, New Delhi 110048, India.



Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) is now an established surgical technique for treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis that is performed under general anesthesia with positive pressure ventilation via either an endotracheal tube or a double lumen endobronchial tube. This is a bilateral disease that requires the division of the right and left thoracic sympathetic chain. The aim of this study was to compare the hemodynamic changes using a left capnothorax first versus right a capnothorax first surgical approach using a single lumen endotracheal tube in patients undergoing bilateral ETS. Lung collapse was achieved by carbon dioxide insufflation.


Forty patients of both sexes aged 18-30 years and of American Society of Anesthesiologists grade I were randomly assigned to undergo bilateral ETS. Patients were divided into two groups. Group L comprised left capnothorax first, followed by right capnothorax (n = 20). Group R comprised right capnothorax first, followed by left capnothorax (n = 20). The anesthesia technique was standardized for all patients. Cardiovascular variables were determined during the procedure every minute. Statistical analysis was performed by independent-sample t test and Pearson's chi-square test.


There was a significant (P < 0.05) mean percentage decrease in systolic blood pressure in group L compared to group R. Similarly, the mean percentage decrease in diastolic blood pressure in group L was significant compared to group R (P < 0.05). Seven patients in group L developed bradycardia, but this was not found to be statistically significant.


When the left capnothorax first approach was used, there was significant hypotension, compared to a right capnothorax first thoracoscopy. We thus recommend that right capnothorax should be performed first in cases of bilateral ETS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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