Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery in the Treatment of Patients with Bullous Emphysema

Atul Mishra, MBBS, MS, FRCS, Ashvind Bawa, MBBS, MS, FMAS, Amandeep Singh Nar, MBBS, MS, FMAS



Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has been widely used to diagnose and treat patients with intrathoracic pathology, including bullous emphysema. Surgical operation for bullous emphysema is indicated for patients with symptoms related to the compression of giant bullae or other related complications, such as infection, rupture, or bleeding.


We retrospectively reviewed ten patients with symptomatic or complicated bullous emphysema, who were treated by bullectomy using VATS in the past two years. Nine males (90%) and one female (10%) were included, with ages ranging from 26 to 68 (median 45) years. Seven (89%) were heavy smokers.


Bullae resection and pleurodesis was performed using VATS.Two patients had minor postoperative complications (one prolonged air leak for more than seven days and one wound infection), which recovered with conservative treatment. The chest tube was successfully removed 5–14 days postoperatively. Symptomatic relief or improved pulmonary function was noted in these patients postoperatively. One patient complained of intermittent dyspnea during follow-up, but the imaging study was normal.


Bullectomy for patients with bullous emphysema can be performed safely and effectively using VATS. Additional pleurodesis or suturing can prevent the complication of air leak.

Session: Poster Presentation

Program Number: P567

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