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Recurrent primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) is often managed with a wedge resection (or blebectomy) and either pleurectomy or pleurodesis. There is a conflicting data regarding which approach is superior to reduce recurrence. Our objective is to evaluate the long-term recurrence rates following pleurectomy versus mechanical pleurodesis for recurrent PSP. The PearlDiver Mariner Patient Claims Database was queried for patients aged 10-25 who were presented with PSP and underwent either pleurectomy or mechanical pleurodesis between 2010 and 2020. The primary outcome was recurrence and secondary outcomes included 30-day opioid prescriptions, pain diagnoses, and reimbursement. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used with adjustment for age and sex. Of 18,955 patients presenting with PSP, 5.1% (n = 968) were managed operatively with either pleurectomy (18.3%, n = 177) or mechanical pleurodesis (81.7%, n = 791). There was no difference in the rate of recurrence between pleurectomy and mechanical pleurodesis (5-year risk of recurrence: 25.8% versus 26.5%, adjusted hazard ratio (HR) = 1.12 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.79, 1.58]). Furthermore, there was no difference in rate of outpatient opioid prescription (49.2% versus 52.8%, P = 0.58) or pain diagnoses (22.0% versus 22.8%, P = 0.46) between pleurectomy and mechanical pleurodesis, respectively. The median reimbursement was higher following pleurectomy as compared to mechanical pleurodesis ($14,040 versus $5,811, P = 0.02). There is no significant difference in recurrence based on type of procedure performed for recurrent primary spontaneous pneumothorax. However, reimbursement is higher following pleurectomy. Given the similar outcomes but higher cost, we recommend mechanical pleurodesis over pleurectomy for recurrent PSP. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Grant S Owen, Gwyneth A Sullivan, Nicholas J Skertich, Srikumar Pillai, Mary Beth Madonna, Ami N Shah, Brian C Gulack. Long-Term Recurrence Risk Following Pleurectomy or Pleurodesis for Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax. The Journal of surgical research. 2022 Oct;278:132-139

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PMID: 35598496

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