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Ann Chir. 1994;48(1):37-42.

[Video-assisted thoracic surgery: indications and limitations].

[Article in French]

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Service de Chirurgie Abdominale et Thoracique, Hôpital Pasteur, Nice.


From November 1990 to September 1992, 72 patients underwent a video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), 47 men and 25 women, of mean age 49 years. Video-assisted thoracic surgery was indicated for the following: 44 spontaneous pneumothorax, 6 benign tumors of the lung or the mediastinum, 4 pleural effusions, one broncho-pleural fistula and one sympathectomy; 17 diagnostic procedures (lung or mediastinal lymph-nodes biopsies). In one patient, it was necessary to associate a mini-thoracotomy and 5 patients went on to a formal thoracotomy. There was no mortality and the morbidity rate was 5.5%. Some conditions are required: one-lung ventilation, ability to convert to a formal thoracotomy at any moment. It is contra-indicated in cases of single lung or complete obliteration of the pleural space due to dense adhesions. The place of VATS is now well defined for the treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax. It is discussed for resection of pulmonary diseases depending on their size, location and histologic type.

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