What are the possible complications of bullectomy?

Updated: Feb 21, 2019
  • Author: Neerja Gulati, MD; Chief Editor: Dale K Mueller, MD  more...
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The most common pulmonary complications of bullectomy are as follows [9, 11, 34, 15, 35] :

  • Air leakage
  • Postoperative respiratory failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Bleeding

The most common cardiac complications are as follows:

Other complications include the following:

In a series of 43 patients who underwent resection of a giant bulla, prolonged air leakage lasting for more than 7 days was seen in 53%, atrial fibrillation (AF) in 12%, postoperative mechanical ventilation in 9%, and pneumonia in 5%. [11]  Another study described prolonged air leakage lasting for more than 7 days in 46% and subcutaneous emphysema in 53% of patients undergoing VATS. Better results may be expected in patients without underlying diffuse emphysema. [17]

In a series of 41 patients, mortality within the first year was 7.3%, and late mortality was 4.9%. [13]  Causes of death included postoperative pneumonia, acute and chronic respiratory failure, PE, and MI.

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