Pneumostomy: an operative proposal for the treatment of severe diffuse pulmonary emphysema.

ABSTRACT Objective: to evaluate a new operative technique for the treatment of advanced pulmonary emphysema. Methods: we conducted a prospective analysis of nine patients with severe pulmonary emphysema submitted to pneumostomy. The procedure was performed under local anesthesia, in the anterior thoracic wall, hemiclavicular line, in the second intercostal space, through an anterior thoracotomy of 5cm for access to the upper lobe, whose anterior segment was pinched and fixed to the parietal pleura. We carried out the pneumostomy with electrocautery and blunt insertion of an intrapulmonary drain. To assess the procedure, we performed pulmonary function tests, imaging tests, six-minute walk test, and applied quality of life questionnaires, all measured preoperatively and 30 days after the procedure. Results: no deaths occurred related to the procedure. Imaging studies showed a decrease in lung volume. The pulmonary function showed a significant reduction in the residual volume. The six-minute walk test showed an increase in the distance covered in the postoperative period. There was significant improvement of the quality of life as demonstrated through questionnaires Medical Outcomes Study 36 Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), Saint-George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), Medical Research Council scale (MRC), and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance status (ECOG). Conclusion: the proposed technique is feasible, safe, easy to perform and to maintain.