Revista Cubana de Cirugía
versión On-line ISSN 1561-2945
The pleural effusion is one of the lesions that are frequently consulted with the surgeon to obtain tissue material for biopsy after the reiterated failure of the cytological puncture, or to treat patients with uncontrollable effusion. Objective: to evaluate the usefulness of the video-assisted thoracoscopy in the diagnosis and treatment of patients carriers of a pleural effusion. Methods: Retrospective study that includes 73 patients in a row that underwent video-assisted thoracoscopy for diagnosis and treatment of a pleural effusion treated between January 1997 and July 2004. Results: 43 patients were males and 30 females. 39 (52.4 %) had a malignant disease, with predominance of lung and breast, because of the effusion. 71.2 % of the cases were operated on with diagnostic intention. Chronic pleural swelling (10), empyema (7), acute and subacute pleuritis (5) and pleural tuberculosis (4) stood out among the non-tumoral causes. The most common therapeutic procedure was pleurodesis with talcum in malignant effusions. In 69 patients (94.5 %), the procedure was useful. 3 suffered from postoperative complications, 2 respiratory failure and 1 subcutaneous emphysema. 3 died (4.1 %), 2 of them due to respiratory failure that did not allow the separation from the mechanical ventilator. Conclusions: Video-assisted thoracoscopy is a useful tool in the management of the patients carriers of pleural effusion, when the diagnosis has not been made and to perform the pleurodesis with talcum
Palabras llave : Video-assisted thoracoscopy; pleural effusion.