Videothoracoscopy: An effective method for evaluating and managing thoracic trauma patients

Michael S Wong, E. K M Tsoi, V. J. Henderson, E. R. Hirvela, C. T. Forest, R. S. Smith, W. R. Fry, C. H. Organ

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of this study was to assess the diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness of videothoracoscopy in thoracic trauma patients. Methods: The design was a retrospective review. The setting was a major trauma center at an urban county hospital. Forty-one hemodynamically stable patients sustaining thoracic trauma were reviewed (34 penetrating and 7 blunt injuries). In the acute setting (<24 h), videothoracoscopy was used for continued bleeding (6) and suspected diaphragmatic injury (17). Thoracoscopy was used in delayed settings (>24 h) for treatment of thoracic trauma complications (18) including clotted hemothorax (14), persistent air leak (1), widened mediastinum (1), and suspected diaphragmatic injury (2). Results: The average Injury Severity Score (ISS) of these patients was 18.9 ± 10.0. Three of 6 patients (50%) with continued bleeding were successfully treated thoracoscopically. Nine of 10 (90%) diaphragmatic injuries were confirmed by thoracoscopy, and 7 of these 9 patients (77%) were repaired thoracoscopically. Thirteen of 14 patients (93%) with clotted hemothoraces and one with a persistent air leak were treated successfully using thoracoscopy. An aortic injury was ruled out in one patient. Conclusions: Videothoracoscopy is a safe, accurate, minimally invasive, and potentially cost-effective method for the diagnosis and therapeutic management of thoracic trauma patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-121
Number of pages4
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996


  • Diaphragmatic injury
  • Thoracic trauma
  • Videothoracoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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