Closed-tube Thoracostomy: A Novel Emergency Surgery Technique

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Background:The practice of tube thoracostomy entails high risk as it is a closed technique. Open thoracostomy and closed minithoracostomy techniques have been approved worldwide as safe modalities. Applying the concept of a new closed thoracostomy technique with high safety and simplicity is a major advancement in this regard.Materials and Methods:This was a case series pilot study introducing a new technique for closed-tube thoracostomy. Thirty-one patients with primary unilateral pneumothorax were selected for the study. All patients coming to the Emergency Department at Security Forces Hospital, Dammam City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, between January and August 2012, matching the study criteria were recruited to undergo the new technique. The surgical set required for the technique was defined and prepared sterile. Preinsertion and postinsertion chest x-ray and chest computed tomography scans were obtained for the entire study sample.Results:We recruited the first 31 patients requiring tube thoracostomy who visited the Emergency Department. All procedures were performed by the author, assisted by on-call registrars. No complications were observed with the new technique. Moreover, advantages of the technique were demonstrated and documented.Conclusions:The new technique provides safe tube introduction and precise tube positioning, saves time, and involves no technical precautions. The technique has been applied on selected simple cases as the first trial and requires further testing in cases of hemothorax, empyema thoracis, traumatic chest injuries, and complicated pulmonary diseases that require drainage. Further evaluation of the technique by randomized studies is required.

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