Background and objective: Primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is a common condition that typically affects young adults. With recent advances in techniques, VATS is now a safe and accepted procedure for treating PSP. Lung isolation techniques have been commonly used to facilitate surgical procedures in the past. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using a single-lumen endotracheal tube for thoracoscopic surgery in patients with PSP. Methods: A series of 121 consecutive patients with PSP, who underwent VATS using a double-lumen or single-lumen endotracheal tube between January 2000 and December 2002, were assessed retrospectively. The clinical features, operation times, complications, hospital stays and recurrences of PSP in these patients were recorded and analysed. Results: There were no significant differences in gender, BMI, smoking habits, blebs/bullae on CT, duration of surgery or recurrence of PSP between the two groups. Patients in the single-lumen endotracheal tube group had a shorter duration of anaesthesia (15.4 ± 2.6 vs 25.6 ± 3.2 min, P <0.001), lower early complication rates, lower costs and shorter hospital stays (3.6 ± 3.0 vs 4.5 ± 2.8 days, P = 0.02) compared with those in the double-lumen endotracheal tube group. The follow-up period was 40-68 months (mean 54 months). There were two recurrences in each group (3.1% vs 3.4%). Conclusions: VATS for the treatment of PSP was easily performed using a single-lumen endotracheal tube, and resulted in lower intubation-related costs, fewer complications and equivalent outcomes, compared with procedures performed using double-lumen endotracheal tube anaesthesia.
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