eISSN: 2299-0054
ISSN: 1895-4588
Videosurgery and Other Miniinvasive Techniques
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1/2021
vol. 16
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Pleural empyema in children – benefits of primary thoracoscopic treatment

Roksana Barglik
1
,
Andrzej Grabowski
1
,
Wojciech Korlacki
1
,
Michał Pasierbek
1
,
Anna Modrzyk
1

1.
Department of Children Developmental Defects Surgery and Traumatology in Zabrze, School of Medicine with the Division of Dentistry in Zabrze, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
Videosurgery Miniinv 2021; 16 (1): 264–272
Online publish date: 2020/11/26
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Introduction
Pleural empyema is the condition of the pleural cavity when initially sterile pleural effusion has become infected. In the majority of cases, it is of parapneumonic origin. Parapneumonic effusions and pleural empyemata usually continuously progress in severity. The American Thoracic Society divides them into three stages: exudative, fibrinopurulent and organizing. The therapy depends on the stage.

Aim
To assess whether thoracoscopy should be considered better than conservative treatment and to assess the feasibility of the thoracoscopic approach to the 3rd phase of pleural empyema.

Material and methods
The clinical course of 115 patients treated from 1996 to 2017 was analyzed. 45 patients operated on thoracoscopically after the failure of conventional treatment were compared with 70 patients treated by primary thoracoscopic drainage and decortication.

Results
The results of the study demonstrated that patients treated primarily by thoracoscopy had a shortened length of hospital stay (16.6 vs. 19.3 days), reduced drainage time (7.9 vs. 9.8 days), and shorter time of general therapy (31.8 vs. 38.0 days). They required fibrinolysis less frequently (12.8 vs. 26.7% of patients) and had reduced risk of reoperation (10 vs. 15.6% of cases). Operation time in the 3rd stage was only 15 min longer. The difference in length of hospital stay was only 0.8 days in favor of less severe cases.

Conclusions
The thoracoscopic approach is safely feasible in the 3rd stage of pleural empyema and should be considered as the preferred approach. Furthermore, the post-operative stay and general course of the disease are milder whenever surgery would not be delayed by prolonged conservative treatment attempts.

keywords:

video-assisted thoracic surgery, management, child, pleural empyema, thoracoscopy, empyema thoracis

  
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