ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
Management of pleural effusions developing after open heart surgery
Mehmet Yıldırım, Ilgaz Doğusoy, Hatice Demirbağ, Recep Ustaalioğlu
Dr. Siyami Ersek Göğüs Kalp ve Damar Cerrahisi Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, Göğüs Cerrahisi Kliniği, İstanbul, Türkiye
DOI : 10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2013.6984
Background: In this study, we aimed to evaluate our management approaches to pleural effusions which developed after open heart surgery.

Methods: Between January 2011 and December 2011, thoracic surgical approaches to 35 patients (27 males, 8 females; mean age 61.1 years; range 25 to 79 years) whom developed pleural effusion after open heart surgery were prospectively analyzed. The clinical outcomes of management approaches, were evaluated in terms of age, gender, previous operation type, time from previous operation to thoracic surgical intervention, localization, character of drainage, echocardiographic findings, type of procedure applied, complications and mortality.

Results: Thirty-five patients were hospitalized 51 times in thoracic surgery clinic and 62 procedures were applied. Twenty patients had left-sided, 12 patients had rightsided and three patients had bilateral pleural effusions. A total of 59.67% of effusions were serous in character. Of 62 procedures, 43 (69.35%) were thoracentesis. Videoassisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) was applied in three patients, while thoracotomy was performed on four patients. Complications were observed in five procedures and mortality was observed in two procedures.

Conclusion: Pleural effusions which develop after open heart surgery may occur in patients particularly undergoing left anterior descending - left internal mammary artery anastomosis during aortocoronary bypass surgery in which left pleura is opened as a surgical technique. An invasive approach such as decortication may be required, if the symptoms and signs of the disease are ignored or delayed consultation to thoracic surgery.

Keywords : Open heart surgery; pleural diseases; pleural effusion
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