Article ID: oa.19-00017
Purpose: This study aims to compare the effects and prognosis of medical thoracoscopy-assisted argon plasma coagulation (APC) combined with electrosurgical unit (ESU) surgery, video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), and pleurodesis surgery, in providing appropriate treatment for elderly refractory pneumothorax patients.
Methods: Patients with refractory pneumothorax aged over 65 years were divided into three groups: APC combined with ESU (N = 20), VATS (N = 26), and pleurodesis (N = 24). Data on demographic characteristics, lung function evaluation, and short- and long-term prognoses were collected.
Results: Following surgery, compared with the APC-ESU and pleurodesis groups, patients in the VATS group demonstrated poor short-term prognoses, with high pleural effusion drainage levels and high visual analog scores (VAS; P <0.05). After the surgery, St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) scores in the pleurodesis group were slightly elevated, whereas SGRQ scores in both the APC-ESU and VATS groups demonstrated a continual decrease. Finally, medical resource consumption analysis demonstrated a significant difference in hospitalization costs among the three groups; the VATS group being the most expensive.
Conclusion: Medical thoracoscopy-assisted APC combined with ESU is a safe, effective, and affordable treatment for elderly patients with refractory pneumothorax.