JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Uniportal thoracoscopic decortication for stage Ⅲ tuberculous empyema of 158 cases].

Objective: To examine the safety and feasibility of uniportal video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) decortication in patients presenting with stage Ⅲ tuberculous empyema. Methods: From August 2017 to July 2020, 158 patients of stage Ⅲ tuberculous empyema underwent uniportal VATS decortication with partial rib resection and customized periosteal stripper in Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital. There were 127 males and 31 females, aged ( M (IQR)) 32(28) years (range:14 to 78 years). Follow-up was performed in the outpatient clinic or via social communication applications, at monthly thereafter. If there was no air leak and chest tube drainage was less than 50 ml/day, a chest CT was performed. If the lung was fully re-expanded, chest tubes were removed. All patients received a follow-up chest CT 3 to 6 months following their initial operations which was compared to their preoperative imaging. Results: There was one conversion to open thoracotomy. The operative time was 2.75 (2.50) hours (range: 1.5 to 7.0 hours), and median blood loss was 100 (500) ml (range: 50 to 2 000 ml). There were no perioperative mortalities. There were no major complications except 1 case of redo-VATS for hemostasis due to excessive drainage and 1 case of incision infection, The incidence of prolonged air leaks (>5 days) was 80.3%(126/157). The postoperative hospital stay was 5.00 (2.25) days (range: 2 to 15 days). All patients were discharged with 2 chest tubes, and the median duration drainage was 21.00 (22.50) days (range: 3 to 77 days). Follow-up was completed in all patients over a duration of 20 (14) months (range: 12 to 44 months). At follow-up, 149 patients(94.9%) recovered to grade Ⅰ level, 7 patients to grade Ⅱ level, and 1 patient to grade Ⅲ level. Conclusion: Uniportal VATS decortication involving partial rib resection and a customized periosteal stripper is safe and effective for patients with stage Ⅲ tuberculous empyema.

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