Objective: To describe the operative findings and clinical outcome in dogs undergoing video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) for treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax and pulmonary bullae. Study Design: Multi-institutional retrospective case series. Animals: Dogs (n=12) with spontaneous pneumothorax and/or pulmonary bullae. Methods: Medical records (2008-2013) were reviewed for signalment, clinical signs, diagnostic imaging, surgical and histopathologic findings, and outcome in 12 dogs that had VATS for treatment of spontaneous pneumothorax and pulmonary bullae. In particular, conversion to median sternotomy and surgical success were evaluated. Results: Twelve dogs had initial VATS for spontaneous pneumothorax and/or pulmonary bullae. Conversion to median sternotomy because of inability to identify a parenchymal lesion/leak was necessary in 7 (58%) dogs. VATS without conversion to median sternotomy was performed in 6 (50%) dogs. Successful surgical outcomes occurred in 5 (83%) dogs that had conversion to median sternotomy, and in 3 (50%) dogs that had VATS without conversion to median sternotomy. Conclusions: Exploratory thoracoscopy was associated with a high rate of conversion to median sternotomy because of inability to identify leaking pulmonary lesions in dogs with spontaneous pneumothorax and pulmonary bullae. Failure to convert to a median sternotomy may be associated with recurrent or persistent pneumothorax.
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