Recent advances in video‐imaging and minimally invasive surgical instrumentation have expanded the role of thoracoscopy in the diagnosis and treatment of intrathoracic conditions. This prospective study describes the use of video‐assisted thoracoscopy (VAT) in 100 consecutive patients. There were 70 males and 30 females with a mean age of 54.6. They underwent 103 VAT procedures with 41 thoracoscopic biopsies of lung, pleural, chest wall and mediastinal abnormalities, 32 for treatment of recurrent or persistent pneumothorax, 18 for thoracoscopic assessment of pulmonary and pleural tumours and 12 for thoracoscopic resection of peripheral lung lesions, chest wall, mediastinal and pleural tumours. Eighty‐one patients had VAT procedures alone while the remaining 19 had VAT proceeding to thoracotomy. The mean operating time for VAT alone was 51 min (range 30–135min). There were no operative deaths. There were 8 significant complications from which patients recovered fully. Patients who underwent VAT alone were shown to have earlier postoperative mobilization, reduction in parenteral analgesic requirement and reduced length of hospital stay compared to patients undergoing additional thoracotomy. A telephone survey of patients on returning home showed that patients undergoing VAT alone returned to full activity earlier than those who had thoracotomy (mean 9.0 vs mean 19.4 days). This study confirms that VAT is a safe and effective procedure in the management of pulmonary, mediastinal and pleural disease and the treatment of persistent and recurrent pneumothorax. Its role in the resection of pulmonary malignancy remains to be defined.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|