Postoperative pneumoperitoneum for prolonged air leaks and residual spaces after pulmonary resections

P. Carbognani, L. Spaggiari, P. G. Solli, G. Tincani, A. Bobbio, M. Rusca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Postoperative air leaks and pleural residual spaces are often encountered during partial lung resections and may adversely affect the immediate outcome prolonging the hospital stay. At present the only treatment consists of maintenance of the chest drainage under suction until resolution of the leaks. Methods. From January 1995 to December 1997 the authors have operated on and subsequently treated 12 patients presenting prolonged air leaks with residual pleural spaces after lobectomies for lung cancer. The patients underwent respectively: left or right lower lobectomies (n = 7), left upper lobectomies (n = 3), right upper lobectomies (n = 2). In this study the air leak was considered prolonged if it continued and delayed the discharge after surgery beyond the postoperative day 8. The pneumoperitoneum was carried out under local anesthesia. The air was insufflated through a needle inserted just above the umbilical scar as for laparoscopic surgery access up to an amount of about 1200 cc-1300 cc. Results. We have obtained in all cases and without complications an immediate reduction in the air leaks and a complete resolution of the residual pleural spaces. Chest drainages were removed from 3 to 4 days after the procedure. Conclusions. The good results achieved suggest that this procedure might be considered for selected cases, being a minor procedure, performed under local anesthesia and with minimum discomfort for the patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-888
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999


  • Lung surgery
  • Pneumoperitoneum, artificial
  • Postoperative complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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