General Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

, Volume 62, Issue 8, pp 503–510 | Cite as

Single-trocar thoracoscopy under local anesthesia for pleural space infection

  • Masatsugu OhuchiEmail author
  • Shuhei Inoue
  • Yoshitomo Ozaki
  • Takuya Fujita
  • Tomoyuki Igarashi
  • Keiko Ueda
  • Jun Hanaoka
Original Article



The role of single-trocar thoracoscopy for complicated parapneumonic effusion (CPE) and pleural empyema is not established as yet. The aim of this study was to report our experience and analyze the efficacy and safety of debridement by single-trocar thoracoscopy for the patients with CPE and multiloculated empyema.


We performed a retrospective study reviewing the medical records of the patients treated parapneumonic effusion and multiloculated empyema by single-trocar thoracoscopy under local anesthesia at our department from January 2000 to December 2012.


A total 29 patients with CPE and multiloculated empyema were treated by single-trocar thoracoscopy. As the staging of pleural infection, class 5 and class 7 by Light classification were 21 and 8 patients, respectively. The onset of the symptom was on average 13.9 ± 11.7 days before the procedure. This procedure was successful in 23 of 29 patients (79.3 %) without further operation under general anesthesia. Complication occurred in 1 case of 29 patients (3.4 %). Six patients required subsequently the operation under general anesthesia, and one of the 6 patients died to multiple organ failure caused by sepsis. A microbiological diagnosis could be made in fifteen patients (51.7 %).


Debridement by single-trocar thoracoscopy can be an acceptable approach as the first-line procedure in patients with CPE and empyema. This procedure can provide not only appropriate and expeditious treatment but also information of pleural cavity to decide indication for thoracotomy under general anesthesia.


Pleural empyema Pleural effusion Thoracoscopic debridement Video-assisted thoracoscopy Local anesthesia 


Conflict of interest

The authors indicated no potential conflict of interest or financial ties.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masatsugu Ohuchi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shuhei Inoue
    • 2
  • Yoshitomo Ozaki
    • 2
  • Takuya Fujita
    • 2
  • Tomoyuki Igarashi
    • 3
  • Keiko Ueda
    • 2
  • Jun Hanaoka
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Critical and Intensive MedicineNational University Corporation, Shiga University of Medical ScienceOtsuJapan
  2. 2.Department of General Thoracic SurgeryNational Hospital Organization Higashi-Ohmi General Medical CenterHigashi-OhmiJapan
  3. 3.Department of Thoracic SurgeryNational University Corporation, Shiga University of Medical ScienceOtsuJapan

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