A Three-Year Experience of Medical Thoracoscopy at A Tertiary Care Center of Himalayan Region

Document Type: Original Article


1 Pulmonologist, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Ram Nagar, Dehradun

2 Pathologist, Department of Pathology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Ram Nagar, Dehradun

3 Resident, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Ram Nagar, Dehradun


Introduction: Medical thoracoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for diagnosing and treating pleural diseases. Despite its proven role in diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, it is infrequently used, which could be because of cost of equipment and lack of training. We analyzed our initial 3 years record of thoracoscopy at Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, a tertiary care center in Himalayan region of north India.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was to analyze our experience of medical thoracoscopy which was started in Jan 2011 at our center. All patients who underwent thoracoscopy during the period between Jan 2011 to Dec 2013 were included in the study.
Thoracoscopy was performed for diagnosis of undiagnosed pleural effusions. Clinical, radiological, cytological & histopathological data of the patients were collected prospectively and analysed.
Results: The diagnostic yield for a pleuroscopic pleural biopsy in our study was 87.23% (41/47). Malignancy was diagnosed histopathologically in 70.2% (33/47) patients (both primary & metastatic pleural carcinoma) and tuberculosis in 10.6% (5/47). There was no mortality related to procedure. Only three patients had minor complications like subcutaneous emphysema which was mild and resolved by second post-procedure day. Pain at intercostal drain site was observed in some patients.
Conclusion: Thoracoscopy is an easy outpatient procedure and an excellent diagnostic tool for pleural effusion of uncertain etiology. It has low complication rate even in settings where the procedure is just started. It should be included in the armamentarium of tools for management of pleural effusion.


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