VATS for lung cancer: novel chest drainage system yields less pain

  • Zhang JT & al.
  • Ann Thorac Surg
  • 8 Jan 2020

  • curated by Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Following video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for lung cancer, a drainage system in which a double-lumen catheter is inserted for prophylactic and remedial air extraction is noninferior to a routine chest tube but with significantly lower pain scores.

Why this matters

  • VATS procedures are becoming more common, and tubeless drainage could boost patient recovery.

Study design

  • Prospective, randomized, noninferiority trial.
  • 84 patients with lung cancer underwent VATS lung wedge resection followed by insertion of a prophylactic air-extraction catheter (PC; n=40) or routine chest tube (RT; n=44) for chest drainage.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • Rates of pneumothorax, pleural effusion, and lung infection were similar between groups.
  • Patients in the PC group reported significantly less pain via the numeric rating scale pain scores (1.6±0.7 vs 2.4±1.2; P=.001).
  • Chest tube reinsertion was required in 1 person in the RT group and none in the PC group.

Limitations

  • Single-center study.