Diagnostic thoracoscopic lung biopsy: An outpatient experience

Andrew C. Chang, John Yee, Mark B. Orringer, Mark D. Iannettoni, Steven Demeester, Joseph B. Shrager, Daniel L. Miller, Lukasz Gasiorowski, Seppo E. Rapo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Background. Tissue diagnosis of either interstitial lung disease or indeterminate pulmonary nodules can be obtained by either limited thoracotomy or thoracoscopic lung biopsy. Both procedures traditionally have required hospital admission. We report a series of patients undergoing outpatient thoracoscopic lung biopsy to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of this practice. Methods. Sixty-two ambulatory patients with a clinical diagnosis of either interstitial lung disease or indeterminate pulmonary nodule(s) underwent thoracoscopic lung biopsy between June 2000 and June 2001. All procedures were performed with double-lumen endotracheal anesthesia and stapled wedge resection. Chest tubes were removed if no air leak was present and if chest radiograph demonstrated no residual pneumothorax. Results. Of 62 patients undergoing thoracoscopic lung biopsy, 45 (72.5%) were discharged home within 8 hours of observation on the day of operation. Fourteen (22.5%) were discharged within 23 hours of their operation. Reasons for 23-hour observation included significant comorbidity (8), pain management (4), postoperative air leak (1), and conversion to muscle-sparing thoracotomy (1). Three (5%) required admission for prolonged air leak (2) or conversion to muscle-sparing thoracotomy (1). Diagnoses were obtained in 61 patients, including neoplasm (25), interstitial lung disease (18), granulomatous disease (7), and other (11). One patient was readmitted for pneumothorax. Patients diagnosed with nonbronchogenic pulmonary metastases were more likely to be discharged on the day of operation. No differences in age, smoking status, or preoperative pulmonary function testing were observed between patients requiring short-stay observation and those discharged immediately after operation. Conclusions. Outpatient thoracoscopic lung biopsy is safe and effective, and has become our procedure of choice for diagnosis of either interstitial or focal lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1942-1947
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnostic thoracoscopic lung biopsy: An outpatient experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this