Thoracoscopic loop ligation of parenchymal blebs and bullae: Is it effective and safe?

H. P. Liu*, C. H. Chang, Jing Lin Pyng Jing Lin, M. J. Hsieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

20 Scopus citations


Surgeons who have gained experience and confidence with video-assisted thoracic surgery are now routinely applying the minimally invasive approach to treat patients with spontaneous pneumothorax. Although the endoscopic stapling device may be a preferred method for resection of parenchymal blebs or bullae, the stapling device is not inexpensive. In an effort to contain costs since we started performing the video-assisted thoracoscopic procedure in chest surgical diseases, we have used a self-made endoscopic loop as an alternative method. It has assisted us in performing bulla ablation in a cost-effective manner. Over a 4-year period (1992 to 1996), we assessed the efficacy of ligating parenchymal blebs and bullae with a self-made endoscopic loop by video-assisted techniques. A total of 263 ligations were performed in 250 patients. Surgical indications included recurrence (n = 146), bilaterality of the disease (n = 13), hemopneumothorax (n = 7), radiologically demonstrated large bulla (n = 9), persistent air leak (n = 52), and nonexpansion of the lung (n = 23). There were no operative deaths. Early postoperative complications included a dislodged endoscopic loop necessitating reexploration in one patient and postoperative minor wound infections in 13. The average postoperative hospitalization was 4.5 days. Two hundred seventeen patients (86.8% of all patients) were followed up for a median of 28 months (1 to 46 months) after the operation. There have been no recurrences to date. Our results showed that thoracoscopic loop ligation is safe and effective in managing blebs and parenchymal bullae, with a lower cost, fewer complications, and a lower recurrence rate than provided by standard surgical techniques. On the basis of our results, we advocate the use of the self-made endoscopic loop for ligation of parenchymal blebs and bulla in patients with spontaneous pneumothorax to achieve a truly cost- effective and minimally invasive thoracoscopic procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-54
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Thoracoscopic loop ligation of parenchymal blebs and bullae: Is it effective and safe?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this