Surgery for pulmonary tuberculosis — a 15-year experience

Dewan, Ravindra Kumar
February 2010
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Feb2010, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p473
Academic Journal
Abstract: Background: Surgery for pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) has become rather limited. However, it is still required for some sequelae and complications. This is a 15-year retrospective study of cases operated upon for pulmonary TB at a centre. Patients and methods: A total of 2878 cases underwent surgical procedures for various complications of pulmonary TB over a 15-year-long period. After excluding those managed by tube thoracostomy, rib resection and open-window thoracostomy, 1297 cases out of this series were taken up for major thoracic surgical procedures. A total of 98 were operated for persistent sputum-positive status, 740 for recurrent massive haemoptysis or chest infections, 2024 for empyema and 18 for diagnostic reasons. Procedures were 830 lung resections, 12 primary thoracoplasties, 295 space-reducing thoracoplasties, 158 decortications, 744 open-window thoracoplasties and 837 tube thoracotomies alone. Results: There were 18 early deaths and 37 late deaths. The cause of death was haemorrhage in seven cases and respiratory failure in nine cases and septicaemia in two cases. Late deaths were mostly because of progressive tubercular disease. There was significant morbidity in terms of broncho-pleural fistula (BPF) in 95 cases and persistent sinus in 37 cases. Milder complications such as pneumonia, fever and wound sepsis were noticed in some cases but definite records were not available. BPF was managed by tube drainage followed by either window thoracostomy or thoracoplasty. In multi-drug-resistant (MDR) cases, persistent documented sputum negativity was achieved in 64 out of 86 cases. Results were better in haemoptysis and chest infection group where the desired result was achieved in 699 cases. Conclusions: Surgery in pulmonary TB is still relevant in many cases and yields a very gratifying result. It is a challenging surgery and this series is a very large one.


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