Current Surgical Management of Empyema Thoracis in Children: A Single-center Experience
Empyema is a morbid complication of pneumonia in children, whose gold standard of surgical treatment technique remains undefined. Historically, treatment consisted of open thoracotomy with decortication. We evaluate the effectiveness and safety of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) as a surgical treatment in for empyema thoracis in a pediatric population at a single institution from 2005 to 2013. After receiving Institutional Review Board approval, we performed a retrospective chart review of children surgically treated for empyema as a complication of pneumonia from 2005 to 2013. Charts were reviewed for the type of procedure performed (VATS or open thoracotomy), comorbid conditions, preoperative status, operative outcomes, and postoperative status. A total of 112 pediatric patients were treated surgically for empyema. Surgical treatment consisted of VATS in all cases; no open thoracotomy procedures were performed. The success rate of VATS in our study was 96.4 per cent. Mean total length of stay was found to be 8.8 days, whereas postoperative length of stay was 6.3 days. Mean postoperative chest tube duration was 3.4 days. Perioperative complication rate was 11.6 per cent, with respiratory failure being the most common complication. The data from our study demonstrate that the exclusive use of VATS in children for the surgical management of all stages of empyema was safe and produced results with high efficacy. We consider VATS to be the new gold standard for surgical drainage of empyema.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 September 2015
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