Aim. The authors report a retrospective study on surgical treatment of primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP). Surgical approaches by Videoassisted axillary mini-thoracothomy (VAMT) and three-port VATS (t-VATS) are compared. Mean post-operative stay (MPS) and ipsilateral recurrence rate (IRR) are assessed. Secondary endpoints were about complications, early post-operative pain and long term neurologic symptoms.
Patients and Methods. From January 2009 to December 2011 we consecutively observed 85 cases of PSP. Treatment was represented by surgery in 52 patients: the approach was by VAMT in 39 instances and t-VATS in 13. Median follow up was 30 months.
Results. Patients submitted to surgery had a MPS of 6.62 ± 1.5 days for VAMT and 6.69 ± 3.4 days for t-VATS (p=0,94). The IRR was 0% in both surgical approaches, comparing to 7,2% for the group of patients treated by simple drainage. Complications were observed in VAMT group: 2 conversions to thoracothomy for technical difficulties (extensive pleural adherences) and one case of re-thoracothomy for hemothorax. Mean Visual Analogic Scale (VAS) score for early post-operative pain was: 2.10±0.71 for VAMT and 1.92±0.64 for t-VATS, p=0.42 at t-student test. Paresthesia complain rate was 33.3% (VAMT) vs 30.7% (t-VATS) for moderate symptoms (p=0.72 at chi square test). The remaining patients complained only slight symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Conclusions. Our experience suggested that both surgical approaches to PSP are safe and effective. No differences were found for early post-operative pain and long term paresthesia rate, between the two approaches. No recurrence occurred during follow up.