Surgical Technique

Emergency drain for post pneumonectomy bronchopleural fistula: a drain placement technique based on the siphon principle

Francesco Petrella, Alberto Sandri, Stefania Rizzo, Alessandro Borri, Domenico Galetta, Roberto Gasparri, Lorenzo Spaggiari


ost pneumonectomy bronchopleural fistula (BPF) is a life-threatening complication requiring pleural cavity drainage to avoid acute mediastinal shift and contralateral aspiration pneumonia. Chest drain insertion in this situation may be technically difficult because of drastic anatomical changes such as mediastinal dislocation, diaphragm elevation and, sometimes, massive subcutaneous emphysema. In addition, the most important part of the pleural cavity to be drained is the costophrenic recess that is scarcely drained by a standard chest tube with its tip aiming high and upwards. We propose a safe, simple and effective technique based on the siphon principle to drain the lowest part of the pleural cavity.

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