Lege Artis Medicinae

[THE PROSPECTS OF SURGICAL TREATMENT OF END-STAGE EMPHYSEMA (COPD): THE LUNG VOLUME REDUCTION SURGERY]

KECSKÉS László

APRIL 21, 2004

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2004;14(04)

[On the basis of relevant international literature the author presents the indications, contraindications, risks and results of the lung volume reduction surgery applicable in cases of therapyresistant end-stage COPD. These interventions, which require strong interdisciplinary cooperation of a pneumonologist, a thoracic surgeon, an anaesthesiologist and a physiotherapeutist were introduced in 1995 as a result of Cooper's study. A multicentric prospective study analysed the efficiency of this new surgical procedure. The results were evaluated in 2003 and it is important to be emphasised that in short term (3-6 months) and medium term (2-4 years) an improvement of lung function and of the quality of life can be observed in those patients who have heterogeneous emphysema, mainly in the upper lobe. Also, in case of homogenous emphysema this surgical procedure can be effective but perioperative mortality is higher and a deterioration in the health-state can occur as soon as six month after the intervention. The follow-up analyses of COPD patients with alpha- 1 antitrypsin deficiency show similarly moderate results. In Szombathely, Hungary 67 such interventions were carried out on 55 patients between 1997 and 2002, with a 4.4 % mortality rate which corresponds the international standard. Our own experience also supports the fact that in short and medium term the FEV1, RV, paO2, paCO2 and the quality of life take a positive change, the continuous O2-demand of patients will cease to exist and they regain parts of the former activity. The LVRS bears remarkable cost due to the use of staplers and surgical materials as well as longer hospital stay with the need of intensive care unit. Today in Hungary the LVRS is a realistic alternative in case of severe COPD to lung transplantation. The cost of an LVRS is maximum 10% of a lung transplantation. Patients having undergone an LVRS as well as patients unacceptable for LVRS may be suitable for lung transplantation.]

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