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To determine whether video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is associated with a lower incidence of intrathoracic adhesion after pulmonary resection, we assessed the incidence of adhesion for patients who underwent a second pulmonary resection. The site and extent of adhesion were evaluated by reviewing videotapes recorded during surgery. A significantly (P<0.05) lower rate of mediastinal or interlobar adhesion was observed in patients with pneumothorax (10%) in comparison with lobectomy (57%) or partial resection for tumors (63%), although there were no statistically significant differences in adhesion to the chest wall. There were no significant differences between VATS and thoracotomy for mediastinal or interlobar adhesion. However, a significantly (P<0.05) lower rate of adhesion to the chest wall was observed for VATS (54%) in comparison with thoracotomy (100%). Although VATS resulted in less adhesion to the chest wall than thoracotomy, there was no difference in mediastinal or interlobar adhesion.