Optimal technique for the removal of chest tubes after pulmonary resection
ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: The objective is to determine the optimal manner to remove a chest tube after pulmonary resection. METHOD: This was a prospective, randomized single-institution study. Patients who underwent elective thoracotomy for pulmonary resection by 1 or 2 general thoracic surgeons were randomized to have their chest tube removed on either full inspiration or full expiration. Both patient groups performed a Valsalva maneuver during tube removal. Outcomes included the incidence of clinically nonsignificant pneumothorax (defined as a new or increased pneumothorax on the post-chest tube removal chest roentgenogram in asymptomatic patients), symptoms, delayed discharge, and the need for a new chest tube. RESULTS: Between November 2008 and June 2011, 1189 patients underwent pulmonary resection, and of these 342 met the criteria for the study. Of the 179 patients randomized to have their chest tube removed on full inspiration, 58 (32%) had a larger or new pneumothorax after chest tube removal and 5 (3%) required intervention or delayed discharge. Of the 163 patients randomized to have their chest tube removed on full expiration, 32 (19%; P = .007) had a larger or new pneumothorax after chest tube removal, and only 2 (1%) required intervention or delayed discharge (P = .78). CONCLUSIONS: Removal of chest tubes at the end of expiration leads to a lower incidence of non-clinically significant pneumothorax than at the end of inspiration. Because of these findings, this study was closed early and was thus underpowered for finding a statistically significant difference in the rare (1%-3%) clinically significant pneumothoraces.
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ABSTRACT: The primary objective of this study was to evaluate our experience using a completely portal (no access incision) robotic pulmonary lobectomy or segmentectomy. This was a retrospective review of a consecutive series of patients. From February 2010 until October 2013, 862 robotic operations were performed by 1 surgeon. Of these, 394 were for a planned anatomic pulmonary resection, comprising robotic lobectomy in 282, robotic segmentectomy in 71, and conversions to open in 41 (10 for bleeding, 1 patient required transfusion; and no conversions for bleeding in the last 100 patients). Indications were malignancy in 88%. A median of 17 lymph nodes were removed. Median hospital stay was 2 days. Approximate financial data yielded: median hospital charges, $32,000 per patient (total, $12.6 million); collections, 23.7%; direct costs, $13,800 per patient; and $4,750 profit per patient (total, $1.6 million). Major morbidity occurred in 9.6%. The 30-day operative mortality was 0.25%, and 90-day mortality was 0.5%. Patients reported a median pain score of 2/10 at their 3-week postoperative clinic visit. Robotic lobectomy for cancer offers outstanding results, with excellent lymph node removal and minimal morbidity, mortality, and pain. Despite its costs, it is profitable for the hospital system. Disadvantages include capital costs, the learning curve for the team, and the lack of lung palpation. Robotic surgery is an important tool in the armamentarium for the thoracic surgeon, but its precise role is still evolving.The Annals of thoracic surgery 04/2014; 98(1). DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.02.051