Prevention of air leaks after pulmonary wedge resection

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Prolonged air leak after a lung volume reduction operation for pulmonary emphysema is a major cause of morbidity and prolonged hospital stay. Staple line reinforcement is recognized as an effective adjunctive technique for decreasing the occurrence of air leaks after pulmonary wedge resection. Numerous materials have been used for staple-line reinforcement. We use expanded polytetrafluoroethylene sleeves that fit over the arms of surgical staplers to facilitate staple-line reinforcement in both thoracoscopic and open lung volume reduction procedures. The expanded polytetrafluoroethylene sleeves do not require rinsing or special handling; they are easy to use and effective in preventing air leaks. We had no prolonged air leaks or infections in any of the cases in which we used the sleeves.




Vaughn, C. C., Wolner, E., Dahan, M., Grunenwald, D., Vaughn, C. C., Klepetko, W., … Baratz, R. A. (1997). Prevention of air leaks after pulmonary wedge resection. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 63(3), 864–866.

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