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Surg Endosc. 1995 Sep;9(9):1013-6.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic suturing of apical bullae. An alternative to staple resection in the management of primary spontaneous pneumothorax.

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Department of Surgery, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, N.T. Hong Kong.


We prospectively studied thoracoscopic suturing of apical bullae in the management of primary spontaneous pneumothorax. From June 1993 to July 1994, we performed 29 such procedures in 27 patients. (All males ranging in age from 15 to 40.) Bullae less than 2 cm in diameter were imbricated (18), while larger bullae were resected and repaired with 3/0 polypropylene suture (11). Postoperative morbidity was minimal. Averaged postoperative parenteral narcotic (Pethidine) requirement was 88 mg, chest drainage was 1.7 (range 1-4) days, and hospital stay was 2.5 (range 1-7) days. There was no recurrence after a mean follow-up of 10 months. In comparison, 32 patients prior to this study period underwent staple resection of apical bulla. Demographic data in the two groups were similar. Averaged Pethidine requirement in the "staple" group was 98 mg, chest drainage was 1.8 (range 1-5) days, and hospital stay was 2.6 (range 1-7) days. There was no statistical difference in the two groups with respect to pain medication, chest drainage, or hospital stay. The technique of thoracoscopic suturing can be easily acquired. In view of the high cost of staple-cutters, endoscopic suturing should be considered as a viable alternative to staple resection of apical bullae in the treatment of primary spontaneous pneumothorax.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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