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Video assisted thoracic surgery in the management of spontaneous pneumothorax: the current status
  1. C S H Ng,
  2. T W Lee,
  3. S Wan,
  4. A P C Yim
  1. Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr C S H Ng
 Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sha Tin, NT, Hong Kong; calvinng{at}


Over the past decade, video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) has changed the way spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) is managed. Benefits of VATS include less postoperative pain, shorter hospital stay, and attenuated postoperative inflammatory response are evident compared with open thoracic procedures. Furthermore, the increasing acceptance by patients and referring physicians is testament to its success. Recent studies and the authors decade of experience in management of SP by VATS show that it is quick, safe, and effective, with recurrence rates generally comparable to open procedures, with some exceptions. However, selecting the correct procedure and patient, as well as knowing the limitations of the surgeons and techniques are paramount for success. Even to this day, there are considerable variations in the treatment of SP and large scale controlled studies are needed to better define timing of surgery and the role of the different procedures in the treatment and prevention of SP.

  • CT, computed tomography
  • SP, spontaneous pneumothorax
  • PSP, primary spontaneous pneumothorax
  • SSP, secondary spontaneous pneumothorax
  • VATS, video assisted thoracic surgery
  • ABC, argon beam coagulation
  • HP, haemopneumothorax
  • SHP, spontaneous haemopneumothorax
  • THP, traumatic haemopneumothorax
  • thoracoscopy
  • video assisted thoracic surgery
  • spontaneous pneumothorax

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.

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