Is Traditional Closed Thoracic Drainage Necessary to Treat Pleural Tears After Posterior Approach Thoracic Spine Surgery?

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Abstract

Study Design.

A prospective study.

Objective.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes and efficacy of using a 10Fr elastic tube with a regular negative pressure ball to treat the operative pleural tear in the complicated single-stage posterior approach thoracic spine surgeries.

Summary of Background Data.

In some complicated single-stage posterior approach thoracic spine surgeries, such as total en bloc spondylectomy, pleural tear is quite inevitable. Traditional chest tube with a water-sealed bottle has many shortcomings, as pain, inconvenience, and other complications. In many thoracic surgeries, a smaller-caliber elastic tube has been used to avoid such complications and achieve quick recovery. However, there are concerns about the efficacy and safety of the smaller-caliber elastic tube.

Methods.

A prospective trial was performed in 72 patients between April 2008 and March 2012. Pleural tear occurred in 19 patients, among whom 10 patients were inserted a 10Fr elastic tube with a regular negative pressure ball (Group I), and nine were inserted a 28Fr chest tube with a water-sealed bottle (Group II). Comparative evaluation of the clinical and radiographic data was carried out.

Results.

The basic condition of two groups did not differ significantly. The oxygen saturation monitor, hospital length of stay, average volume, and failure rate of drainage between two groups were not statistically significant. The difference of the visual analog score was significant (1.10 ± 0.35 vs. 3.89 ± 0.59, P < 0.001).

Conclusion.

Patients who received a 10Fr elastic tube with a regular negative pressure ball experienced less pain and a tendency of quicker recovery than those who received a 28Fr chest tube with a water-sealed bottle. The complication rate in Group I was not higher than Group II, indicating an equally good drainage efficacy.

Conclusion.

Level of Evidence: 2

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