Conventional 3-port video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery is the classic approach for the diagnosis and treatment of primary spontaneous pneumothorax. Transareolar pulmonary bullectomy rarely has been attempted. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility and safety of this novel minimally invasive technique in managing primary spontaneous pneumothorax.Methods
From January 2013 to December 2014, a total of 112 male patients with primary spontaneous pneumothorax underwent transareolar pulmonary bullectomy by use of a 5-mm thoracoscope.Results
All procedures were performed successfully, with a mean operating time of 26.5 minutes. The mean length of transareolar incision for the main operation was 2.0 ± 0.2 cm, the mean length of incision for the camera port was 0.6 ± 0.1 cm, and the mean postoperative cosmetic score was 3.0 ± 0.8. All patients regained consciousness rapidly after surgery. One hundred seven patients (95.5%) were discharged on postoperative day 2 or 3, with the remainder discharged on postoperative day 4 or 5. Postoperative complications were minor. At 6 months postoperatively, there was no obvious surgical scar on the chest wall, and no patient complained of postoperative pain. No recurrent symptoms were observed. One-year follow-up revealed an excellent cosmetic result and degree of satisfaction.Conclusions
Transareolar pulmonary bullectomy is a safe and effective therapeutic procedure for primary spontaneous pneumothorax caused by pulmonary bullae. The incision is hidden in the areola with excellent cosmetic effects. This novel procedure shows promise as a treatment of primary spontaneous pneumothorax.