Background: Operative intervention for thoracic trauma typically requires thoracotomy. We hypothesized that thoracoscopy may be safely and effectively utilized for the acute management of thoracic injuries. Materials and Methods: The Trauma Registry of a Level I trauma center was queried from 1999 through 2010 for all video-assisted thoracic procedures within 24 h of admission. Data collected included initial vital signs, operative indication, intraoperative course, and postoperative outcome. Results: Twenty-three patients met inclusion criteria: 3 (13%) following blunt injury and 20 (87%) after penetrating trauma. Indications for urgent thoracoscopy included diaphragmatic/esophageal injury, retained hemothorax, ongoing hemorrhage, and open/persistent pneumothorax. No conversions to thoracotomy were required and no patient required re-operation. Mean postoperative chest tube duration was 2.9 days and mean length of stay was 5.6 days. Conclusion: Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery is safe and effective for managing thoracic trauma in hemodynamically stable patients within the first 24 h post-injury.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Emergency Medicine