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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 161-165

Open drainage for chronic empyema thoracis; clarifying misconceptions by report of two cases and review of literature

1 Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, ABU Zaria, Nigeria
2 Division of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, ABU Zaria, Nigeria
3 Division of Hepartobiliary Surgery, ABU Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Sunday A Edaigbini
Department of Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-9596.122972

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Empyema thoracis is quite appreciated as a purulent pleural effusion. The basis for open drainage as an option for the treatment of chronic empyema thoracis is that the lung is trapped beneath a thickened and fibrosed visceral peel, which stabilizes and shields the trapped lung from the possible effect of pneumothorax when such a lung is exposed to the atmosphere either deliberately or accidentally. This is often unappreciated by many clinicians especially those with limited experience. From first principles, pus anywhere requires drainage and this applies equally to pleural space pus. Since these patients are often unfit for stressful procedures like decortication or the underlying lung is often unhealthy and will fail to expand or would be seriously violated in an attempt to free it, open drainage provides a safe and suitable option for the treatment of this pathology. We present the successful management of two patients by this approach as well as the review of literature in this respect.

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