ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
Pericardiopleural window creation with a small anterior thoracotomy
Murat Biçer1, Bülent Özdemir2, İrem İris Kan1, Hüseyin Melek3, Ahmet Sami Bayram3
1Departments of Cardiovascular Surgery, Medical Faculty of Uludağ University, Bursa, Turkey
2Departments of Cardiology, Medical Faculty of Uludağ University, Bursa, Turkey
3Departments of Thoracic Surgery, Medical Faculty of Uludağ University, Bursa, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2017.11929
Background: This study aims to investigate the efficacy of pericardiopleural window created by small anterior thoracotomy in the treatment and diagnosis of the pericardial effusion.

Methods: Between January 2006 and January 2011, data of a total of 52 patients (27 males, 25 females; mean age 61.8 years; range 45 to 78 years) underwent pericardiopleural window due to pleural effusion were retrospectively analyzed. Pericardial effusion was diagnosed with echocardiography or computed tomography. A pericardiopleural window was created via a small anterior thoracotomy in the right or left sixth or seventh intercostal space according to the main pathology. Incisions were about 5 to 7 cm long. A 2x2 cm window in size was created from anterior surface of the pericardium to the phrenic nerve.

Results: Indications for pericardiopleural window creation were malignant effusions in 20 patients, idiopathic causes in 20 patients, infective causes in nine patients and previous cardiac surgery in three patients. The mean duration of surgery was 42.2 minutes (range, 32 to 65). No intraoperative and postoperative mortality and morbidity was seen. The mean length of hospital stay was 5.6 (range 2 to 15) days.

Conclusion: Pericardiopleural window creation with small anterior thoracotomy is an effective technique for drainage of the pericardial fluid and pericardial biopsy.

Keywords : Pericardial effusion; pericardiopleural window; thoracotomy
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