JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[The treatment of thoracic empyema by video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)].

Despite various treatment options, empyema thoracis remains associated with important morbility and mortality. Diffused or loculated empyema developed through exudative, purulent and organized phases. Clinically, these phases corresponding to the evolution of the disease: acute and chronic one. The treatment of empyema thoracis is also correlated with the general condition of the patient and even if the drainage is satisfactory in the exudative form, these surgical procedure may be not curative in the purulent and chronic phase. In these cases empyemectomy and pleural decortication are treatment of choice. Recently, Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery has assumed greater importance in the management of this pathology. In our Department of General and Thoracic Surgery, on 178 patients with chronic empyema thoracis, 26 were underwent VATS. During the follow-up there was no mortality or recurrence of empyema. The results indicate VATS because of higher efficacy, shorter hospital stay and less cost, is the primary surgical treatment of chronic empyema thoracis.

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