Spontaneous ventilation anaesthesia: total intravenous anaesthesia with local anaesthesia or thoracic epidural anaesthesia for thoracoscopic bullectomy

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At present, few data exist regarding the comparisons of perioperative outcomes and recurrence of spontaneous ventilation (SV) video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) bullectomy using total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA) with local anaesthesia (LA) or thoracic epidural anaesthesia (TEA). We evaluated the feasibility and safety of TIVA with LA in the management of primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP).


We conducted a single-institution retrospective analysis of patients undergoing VATS bullectomy between July 2011 and May 2015; 240 patients were included for analysis. Preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative variables of patients undergoing VATS bullectomy using TIVA-TEA (n = 140) were compared with those using TIVA-LA (n = 100).


Baseline demographics were similar between groups. No patients in either group required conversion to thoracotomy. Three patients (TIVA-TEA: 2; TIVA-LA: 1) required conversion to intubated general anaesthesia. Both groups had comparable surgical duration, estimated blood loss, peak EtCO2 and lowest intraoperative SpO2 level. Postoperatively, thoracic drainage volume, duration of chest tube drainage and hospitalization cost did not differ between groups. The incidence of postoperative complications between groups was not significant (2% for TIVA-TEA vs 2% for TIVA-LA, P = 1.00). Pneumothorax recurrence rate was 3% in TIVA-TEA cases (n = 4) and 2% in TIVA-LA cases (n = 2).


SV-VATS bullectomy using TIVA with LA or TEA is technically feasible and safe. Both groups have comparable short-term outcomes and recurrence rates; TIVA-LA seems a valid alternative to TIVA-TEA for the surgical management of PSP under SV.

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