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The effect of chest wall surgery on lung volume: a new evaluation concept.

BACKGROUND: In the surgical treatment of chest wall tumors requiring large chest wall resection, reconstruction of the chest wall defect is required using various autologous tissues or artificial materials. However, no appropriate method has been reported to evaluate whether each reconstruction is successful or not. Therefore, we performed lung volumetry before and after surgery to evaluate the negative effects of chest wall surgery on lung expansion.

METHODS: Twenty-three patients with chest wall tumors who underwent surgery were included in this study. Lung volume (LV) before and after surgery was measured using SYNAPSE VINSENT (FUJIFILM, Tokyo, Japan). The rate of change in LV was calculated as the postoperative and preoperative LV of the operative side × preoperative/postoperative LV of the opposite side. The excised chest wall area was calculated as vertical diameter × horizontal diameter of the tissue specimen.

RESULTS: Reconstruction methods included rigid reconstruction (a combination of titanium mesh and extended polytetrafluoroethylene sheet) in four patients, non-rigid reconstruction (extended polytetrafluoroethylene sheet only) in 11, no reconstruction in five, and no chest wall resection in three. Changes in LV were generally well preserved, regardless of the resected area. In addition, LVs were well maintained in most patients who underwent chest wall reconstruction. However, in some cases, decreased lung expansion was observed with migration and deflection of the reconstructive material into the thorax due to postoperative lung inflammation and shrinking.

CONCLUSIONS: Lung volumetry can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of chest wall surgery.

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