Successful treatment of persistent postoperative air leaks following the placement of an endobronchial one-way valve
Abstractresection in pathological conditions of the lung involve a very large spectrum of available methods, from chest drainage and placement of Heimlich valves to surgical repair or pleural decortication. However, in some of these patients surgery may be contraindicated. This report describes an endobronchial approach to the control of marked and prolonged air leaks in four patients using a newly designed one-way airway valve (Pulmonx Corporation; Redwood City, Ca.USA) placed into the segmental bronchus that is the source of air leakage. As the device is a one-way inspiratory airway blocker, it can be used to control persistent air leaks while maintaining the drainage of mucus. This approach potentially provides an effective nonsurgical and minimally invasive alternative addition to the armamentarium of treatments for patients who suffer with persistent post-operative air leaks where other methods have failed or in frail patients who are categorised as a high surgical risk.
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