In this study we aimed to evaluate the role of closed-suction drainage on the extent of epidural fibrosis (EF) after lumbar disc surgery and to define a new grading system of epidural fibrosis in these patients, based on magnetic resonance imaging. Seventy-nine patients (34 women, 45 men) with a unilateral, single-level lumbar disc herniation were included in this study. Forty-one patients in whom closed-suction drainage was implanted were compared with 38 patients in whom the drain was not implanted. We have used a new grading system for the extent of epidural fibrosis, on the basis of follow-up magnetic resonance imaging findings. Pain intensity was evaluated by visual analog scale (VAS), and the patients’ function and working ability were measured according to the Prolo functional-economic scale. We conclude that, in patients operated on for unilateral, single-level lumbar disc hernias, implantation of closed-suction drainage into the operation site results in less formation of EF radiologically and yields better clinical outcome.
Epidural fibrosis; Closed-suction drainage; Lumbar disc surgery; Magnetic resonance imaging
Although postoperative spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) is not uncommon, hematomas that require surgery are rare. Cauda equina syndrome (CES) may be associated with postoperative SEH. In these cases, early recognition and emergency decompression can prevent further damage and better neurologic recovery.
A 41-year-old man underwent two-level discectomy with insertion of an interspinous spacer at L3-4 and L4-5 because of low back pain and radiculopathy. Eight hours after the operation, the patient developed CES. MRI revealed SEH compressing posteriorly at the L3-4 level. On emergency decompression and hematoma evacuation, the interspinous spacer had obstructed the laminotomy site at L3-4 completely, blocking drainage to the drain. The patient experienced complete neurologic recovery by 2 months followup.
Many studies report risk factors for SEH. However, postoperative SEH can also be encountered in patients without these risks. One study reported a critical ratio (preoperative versus postoperative cross-sectional area) correlated with postoperative symptoms, especially in those with CES. The propensity to develop CES is likely dependent on a number of patient-specific factors.
Surgeons should be aware that patients without risk factors may develop acute CES. Wider laminotomy (larger than half of the device size) may help to prevent this complication when one uses the compressible type of device, especially in patients with relatively small lamina.
Negative suction drainage is commonly used for the prevention of seromas or hematomas in auricular reconstruction surgery; however, there are few reports regarding the quantitative measurement of negative suction and its relation to disposed time, patient age or microtia type. In the present study, the authors recorded the volume of suction exudate in microtia reconstruction and elaborate on the relevant details of controlling negative suction. A negative suction drainage system was applied in 96 microtia patients between 2007 and 2010. Two small polyethylene drains were inserted adjacent to the concha and the scapha, respectively. The volume of exudate was recorded for three days after surgery and was analyzed according to disposed time, patient age and microtia type. The drains were removed on the third postoperative day, when only a small amount of exudate remained. A significant change in drainage was observed over three days postoperatively, and the quantity decreased progressively on the third postoperative day. Comparison of age groups showed that the volume of drainage from adults was greater than that from children or adolescents in the first two postoperative days, regardless of whether the drains were inserted in the scapha or concha. No statistical differences were found on the third postoperative day. A comparison of drain types revealed no statistically significant differences between scapha and concha drains three days postoperatively. The analysis demonstrated that drainage quantity is related to disposed time and patient age, but not to microtia type. The authors recommend removal of suction drains on the third postoperative day. Moreover, individualized negative suction treatment according to age or microtia type provides a safe and consistent approach to achieving acceptable results and fewer complications.
Ear reconstruction; Microtia; Negative suction; Quantity measurement
Suction drains are routinely used after modified radical mastectomy and are an important factor contributing to increased hospital stay as the patients are often discharged only after their removal. Amongst various factors that influence the amount of postoperative drainage, the negative suction pressure applied to the drain has been reported to be of great significance. While a high negative suction pressure is expected to drain the collection and reduce the dead space promptly, it may also prevent the leaking lymphatics from closing and lead to increased drainage from the wound. Against this background a prospective randomized clinical study was conducted to compare the amount and duration of drainage between a half negative suction and full vacuum suction drainage in patients following modified radical mastectomy. The associated postoperative morbidity was also compared between the two groups.
85 FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology) proven cases of locally advanced breast cancer were randomized. (Using randomly ordered sealed envelops, which were opened immediately before the closure of the wound) in to 50 patients with full vacuum suction (pressure = 700 g/m2) and 35 cases in to half vacuum suction drainage (pressure = 350 g/m2) groups. The two groups were comparable in respect of age, weight, and technique of operation and extent of axillary dissection. Surgery was performed by the same surgical team comprising of five surgeons (two senior and three resident surgeons) using a standardized technique with electrocautery. External compression dressing was provided over the axilla for first 48 hrs and following that patients were encouraged to do active and passive shoulder exercises. The outcomes measured were postoperative morbidity and the length of hospital stay.
Statistical methods used: Descriptive studies were performed with SPSS version 10 and group characteristics were compared using student t-test.
Half vacuum suction drains were removed earlier than the full suction vacuum suction drains. There was no significant difference in the incidence of seroma formation in the two groups and there was a significant reduction in the total hospital stay in patients with half vacuum suction drainage systems as compared to the full suction drainage group (p < 0.001) without any added morbidity.
Half negative suction drains provide an effective compromise between no suction and full or high suction drainage after modified radical mastectomy by reducing the hospital stay and the post operative morbidity including post operative seromas.
This study assessed the impact of closed suction drains and evaluated whether the intraoperative use of a fibrin sealant decreased time to drain removal and wound complications in melanoma patients undergoing inguino-femoral lymph node dissection.
A pilot study (n = 18) assessed the impact of a closed suction drain following inguino-femoral lymph node dissection. A single-institution, prospective trial was then performed in which patients were randomized to a group that received intraoperative application of a fibrin sealant following inguino-femoral lymph node dissection or to a control group that did not receive sealant.
The majority of the patients enrolled felt the drains caused moderate or severe discomfort and difficulties with activities of daily living. Thirty patients were then randomized; the median time to drain removal in the control group (n = 14) was 30 days (range, 13–74) compared to 29 days (range, 11–45) in the fibrin sealant group (n = 16; P = 0.6). Major and minor complications were similar in the two groups.
Postoperative closed suction drains were associated with major patient inconvenience. Applying a fibrin sealant at the time of inguino-femoral lymph node dissection in melanoma patients did not reduce the time to drain removal or postoperative morbidity. Alternative strategies are needed.
We report a series of epidural hematomas which cause neurologic deterioration after spinal surgery, and have taken risk factors and prognostic factors into consideration. We retrospectively reviewed the database of 3720 cases of spine operation in a single institute over 7 years (1998 April-2005 July). Nine patients who demonstrated neurologic deterioration after surgery and required surgical decompression were identified. Factors postulated to increase the postoperative epidural hematoma and to improve neurologic outcome were investigated. The incidence of postoperative epidural hematoma was 0.24%. Operation sites were cervical 3 cases, thoracic 2 cases, and lumbar 4 cases. Their original diagnoses were tumor 3 cases, cervical stenosis 2 cases, lumbar stenosis 3 cases and herniated lumbar disc 1case. The symptoms of epidural hematomas were neurologic deterioration and pain. After decompression, clinical outcome revealed complete recovery in 3 cases (33.3%), incomplete recovery in 5 cases (55.6%) and no change in 1 case (11.1%). Factors increasing the risk of postoperative epidural hematoma were coagulopathy from medical illness or anticoagulation therapy (4 cases, 44.4%) and highly vascularized tumor (3 cases, 33.3%). The time interval to evacuation of complete recovery group (29.3 hours) was shorter than incomplete recovery group (66.3 hours). Patients with coagulopathy and highly vascularized tumor were more vulnerable to spinal epidural hematoma. The postoperative outcome was related to the preoperative neurological deficit and the time interval to the decompression.
Clinical outcome; risk factor; postoperative; spinal epidural hematoma; spine surgery
Postoperative maintenance of high haemoglobin (Hb) levels and avoidance of homologous blood transfusions is important in total hip arthroplasty (THA). The introduction of a postoperative drainage autologous blood transfusion (ABT) system or no drainage following THA has resulted in reduction of homologous blood transfusion requirements compared with closed-suction drains. The purpose of this study was to examine which regimen is superior following THA.
A randomised controlled blinded prospective single-centre study was conducted in which 100 THA patients were randomly allocated to ABT or no drainage. The primary endpoint was the Hb level on the first postoperative day.
The postoperative collected drained blood loss was 274 (±154) ml in the ABT group, of which 129 (±119) ml was retransfused (0–400). There was no statistical difference in Hb levels on the first postoperative day (ABT vs no drainage: Hb 11.0 vs 10.9 g/dl), on consecutive days (day 3: Hb 10.7 vs 10.2, p = 0.08) or in total blood loss (1,506 vs 1,633 ml), homologous transfusions, pain scores, Harris Hip Score, SF-36 scores, length of hospital stay or adverse events.
The use of a postoperative autologous blood retransfusion drain did not result in significantly higher postoperative Hb levels or in less total blood loss or fewer homologous blood transfusions compared with no drain.
Early postoperative MRI after spinal surgery is difficult to interpret because of confounding postoperative mass effects and frequent occurrence of epidural hematomas. Purpose of this prospective study is to evaluate prevalence, extent and significance of hematoma in the first postoperative week in asymptomatic patients after decompression for lumbar stenosis and to determine the degree of clinically significant dura compression by comparing with the patients with postoperative symptoms. MRI was performed in 30 asymptomatic patients (47 levels) in the first week after lumbar spine decompression for degenerative stenosis. Eleven patients requiring surgical revision (16 levels) for symptomatic early postoperative hematoma were used for comparison. In both groups the cross-sectional area of the maximum dural compression (bony stenosis and dural sac expansion) was measured preoperatively and postoperatively by an experienced radiologist. Epidural hematoma was seen in 42.5% in asymptomatic patients (20/47 levels). The median area of postoperative hematoma at the operated level was 176 mm2 in asymptomatic patients and 365 mm2 in symptomatic patients. The median cross-sectional area of the dural sac at the operated level was 128.5 and 0 mm2 in asymptomatic and symptomatic patients, respectively, at the site of maximal compression. In the symptomatic group 75% of the patients had a maximal postoperative dural sac area of 58.5 mm2 or less, whereas in the asymptomatic group 75% of patients with epidural hematoma had an area of 75 mm2 or more. The size of hematoma and the degree of dural sac compression were significantly larger in patients with symptoms needing surgical revision. Dural sac area of less than 75 mm2 in early postoperative MRI was found to be the threshold for clinical significance.
Epidural hematoma; Early postoperative MRI; Spinal stenosis; Neural compression
Spinal epidural hematoma is a well known complication of spinal surgery. Clinically insignificant small epidural hematomas develop in most spinal surgeries following laminectomy. However, the incidence of clinically significant postoperative spinal epidural hematomas that result in neurological deficits is extremely rare. In this report, we present a 33-year-old female patient whose spinal surgery resulted in postoperative spinal epidural hematoma. She was diagnosed with lumbar disc disease and underwent hemipartial lumbar laminectomy and discectomy. After twelve hours postoperation, her neurologic status deteriorated and cauda equina syndrome with acute spinal epidural hematoma was identified. She was immediately treated with surgical decompression and evacuation of the hematoma. The incidence of epidural hematoma after spinal surgery is rare, but very serious complication. Spinal epidural hematomas can cause significant spinal cord and cauda equina compression, requiring surgical intervention. Once diagnosed, the patient should immediately undergo emergency surgical exploration and evacuation of the hematoma.
BACKGROUND: Problems in the management of thoracic trauma have stimulated the search for an alternative to underwater seals for drainage of the pleural cavity. A chest drainage bag incorporating a one way flutter valve has been compared with underwater seal drains in a randomised clinical trial. METHODS: During June-December 1989 119 patients undergoing elective thoracotomy were randomised to receive postoperative chest drainage by drainage bags (56 patients, 87 drains) or by underwater seal drains (63 patients, 98 drains). Daily drainage volumes, the requirement for pleural suction, mobility, and complications were recorded prospectively. RESULTS: There was no significant difference between the two groups in the mean volume drained, the requirements for pleural suction, or the occurrence of complications. Patients with drainage bags were fully mobile 23 hours (95% confidence interval 0-47 hours) earlier than the others. CONCLUSIONS: When used after elective thoracotomy drainage bags are safe and effective and permit earlier mobility than underwater seal drains.
A prospective trial to assess the effect of suction in an abdominal drain following cholecystectomy was carried out. Three types of closed drainage system were compared: a simple tube drain, a low negative pressure drain, and a high negative pressure drain: 120 consecutive patients undergoing cholecystectomy were randomly allocated to one of the three drainage groups. There was no significant difference in postoperative pyrexia, wound infection, chest infection, or hospital stay. This study failed to demonstrate any clinically useful difference between high negative pressure, low negative pressure, and static drainage system were compared: a simple tube drain, a low negative used, suction is not necessary and a simple tube drain (greater than 6 mm internal diameter) is the most effective form of drainage.
Background: Drains are usually left after thyroid surgery to prevent formation of hematoma and seroma in the thyroid bed. This prospective randomized clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the necessity of drainage after total thyroidectomy for benign thyroidal disorders.
Methods: The patients were assigned randomly into two groups (group 1: with suction drain, group 2: fibrin glue). In the study, operating time, postoperative pain, the total amount of intramuscular analgesic administration, hospital stay, complications (such as wound infection, seroma, bleeding, hematoma, recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy or hypoparathyroidism), were recorded.
Results: The drained group (group 1) consisted of 2 men and 48 women with a mean age of 47.76±11.22 years. The nondrained (plus fibrin sealant)( group 2) (comprised of 10 men and 40 women with a mean age of 44.72±11.32 years. There was no significant difference in the gender, age, hormonal status and histopathological results of the patients between the two groups (P=0.18, P=0.36, P=0.28 and P=0.40, respectively). The operations performed were total thyroidectomy in all patients. Twenty-five patients (50%) in the non-drained group did not need intramuscular analgesic, whereas 15 patients (30%) did not in the drained group (P=0.01). In addition, the mean amount of intramuscular analgesic requirement was significantly less in the non-drained group than in the drained group (P=0.02). The complication rates were similar between the two groups. One case of hematoma (2%), two cases of seroma (4%) and three cases of transient hypoparathyroidism (6%) occurred in the non-drained group, whereas one case of hematoma (2%), two cases of seroma (4%), two cases of wound infections (4%) and two cases of transient hypoparathyroidism (4%) occurred in the drained group (P=0.69). No patient needed surgical revision or re-operation for any complication and all complications were successfully managed conservatively.
Conclusion: Routine drainage of thyroid bed following thyroid surgery may not be necessary. Not draining the wound results in lesser morbidity and decreased hospital stay.
thyroidectomy; drainage; complications; fibrin sealant
Objective: Retrospectively assess the efficacy of lumbar cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage placed preoperatively in skull base operations in decreasing the incidence of postoperative CSF fistula. Methods: A retrospective review of 150 patients undergoing a posterior fossa craniotomy from 1989 to 2000 was conducted. Patients were divided into those receiving preoperative lumbar drains and those that did not. The rates of postoperative CSF leakage were compared between the two groups. Patient data were analyzed to determine if there were other comorbidities affecting the postoperative incidence of CSF leakage such as smoking, diabetes, or hypertension. Results: Between 1989 and 1994, 25/72 (35%) patients with no preoperative lumbar drain had a postoperative CSF leak. From 1995 to 2000, 9/78 (12%) patients with a preoperative lumbar drain had a CSF leak. This was a 23% decreased incidence of postoperative CSF leakage and a significant decrease in the probability (p < 0.001) of CSF leakage in patients treated with a preoperative lumbar drain. The comorbidities of diabetes, smoking, or hypertension did not increase the probability of a CSF leak (p = 0.43). Conclusions: A preoperatively placed lumbar drain can significantly lower the rate of postoperative CSF leakage after skull base surgery. The drain is a well-tolerated adjunct to dural closure and helps increase surgical exposure of the posterior fossa. The comorbidities of diabetes, smoking, or hypertension do not contribute to an increased rate of CSF leakage.
Cerebrospinal fluid fistula; lumbar drain; retrosigmoid; translabyrinthine
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of suction drainage following primary total joint arthroplasty. We reviewed primary total hip and knee replacements separately and together in 126 consecutive patients. There were 63 patients each in the drainage and no drainage groups. Sex distribution and anticoagulant use were similar in the two groups. All patients underwent the same operative technique and method of closure. The mean postoperative fall in haemoglobin was 3.2 and 3.3 gm/dl in the drainage and no drainage groups respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups with regard to blood transfusion requirements, rehabilitation time, postoperative complications such as hypotension and wound infections (p>0.05). The average rehabilitation time in both groups was 8–9 days. The routine use of a suction drain is unnecessary after an uncomplicated total joint arthroplasty.
The purpose of this case report is to describe a rare case of a cervicothoracic spinal epidural hematoma (SEH) after anterior cervical spine surgery. A 60-year-old man complained of severe neck and arm pain 4 hours after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion at the C5-6 level. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a postoperative SEH extending from C1 to T4. Direct hemostasis and drainage of loculated hematoma at the C5-6 level completely improved the patient's condition. When a patient complains of severe neck and/or arm pain after anterior cervical spinal surgery, though rare, the possibility of a postoperative SEH extending to non-decompressed, adjacent levels should be considered as with our case.
Cervical spine; Complication; Hematoma
Background: Postoperative pelvic fluid collection is almost a universal
consequence of gynecologic surgery. At one end of the spectrum are minimal collections
of peritoneal fluid or blood that are clinically inconsequential. At the other end are
hematomas and abscesses requiring active intervention for the patient to recover.
Case: This case report describes a symptomatic vaginal vault
hematoma occurring after vaginal hysterectomy. Ultrasonography was used to accurately
identify the hematoma and guide intraoperative drainage. The patient fully recovered
Conclusion: Accurate visual guidance of instrumentation to
decompress postoperative retroperitoneal hematomas is a marked improvement
over non-visual techniques utilizing palpation only. The hematoma cavity can be more
easily entered and the hematoma or abscess more completely drained, expediting the
recovery of the patient affected by this problem.
Background. The use of a suction drain in thyroid surgery is common practice in order to avoid hematomas or seromas. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of routine drainage after thyroid surgery. Methods. In this prospective randomized trial, 400 patients who underwent either a total thyroidectomy or lobectomy for thyroid disorders were randomly allocated to either the nondrainage (group 1) or the drainage (group 2) group. The volume of fluid collection in the operative bed, postoperative pain, complications, and length of hospital stay were then recorded. Results. Both groups were homogeneous according to age, gender, thyroid volume, type of procedure performed, and histopathological diagnosis. After assessment by USG, no significant difference was found between the groups in the fluid collection of the thyroid bed (P = 0.117), but the length of hospital stay was significantly reduced in group 1 (P = 0.004). Conclusions. In our experience, the use of drain for thyroid surgery is not a routine procedure. However, it should be used in the presence of extensive dead space, particularly when there is retrosternal or intrathoracic extension, or when the patient is on anticoagulant treatment. This trial was registered with clinical Trials.gov NCT01771523.
A prospective trial is described in which simple tube drainage was compared with suction drainage after cholecystectomy. Postoperative chest infection and infected or painful drain wounds were both significantly more common with simple tube drains. Postoperative discomfort was more frequent with tube drains in situ and wound infection more common in the suction group, but neither of these differences was statistically significant. The mean volume of fluid drained and duration of hospital stay did not differ between methods. It is concluded that both methods are satisfactory, but suction drainage is recommended.
A series of 180 patients was randomised to two groups after median sternotomy performed for cardiac surgery in order to evaluate the effect of suction drainage on serous wound discharge. In group A all wounds were drained using two conventional mediastinal drains, while in group B one suction drain and one conventional mediastinal drain were employed. Five patients developed serous wound discharge in group B compared with 14 in group A (chi 2, P < 0.02). There were no significant differences between the rates of major wound infection (group A, n = 1; group B, n = 1) or the incidence of postoperative pericardial effusion assessed by echocardiography (group A, n = 10; group B, n = 5).
We describe a case of acute lumbar epidural hematoma at the L2-3 level complicated by paraplegia, which occurred after coagulation disorder because of massive bleeding intraoperatively in cesarean section. The preoperative coagulation laboratory finding was in normal range and so we tried combined spinal epidural anesthesia. Uterine atony occurred in the operation, and there was persistant bleeding during and after the operation. After the operation, she complained of paresthesia on her both legs and was diagnosed with epidural hematoma (EDH) by radiologic examination. Emergency laminectomy on lumbar spine was carried out for hematoma evacuation and decompression of the epidural space at once. In our experience, massive bleeding during surgery may potentially increase the risk of EDH postoperatively.
Blood coagulation disorder; Cesarean section; Epidural anesthesia; Epidural hematoma; Postpartum hemorrhage; Spinal anesthesia
A major factor affecting patients’ length of hospitalisation following head and neck surgery remains the use of surgical drains. The optimal time to remove these drains has not been well defined. A routine practice is to measure the drainage every 24 h and remove the drain when daily drainage falls below 25 ml. This study aims to determine whether drainage measurement at shorter intervals decreases the time to drain removal and hence the length of in-patient stays.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
A 6-month prospective observational study was performed. The inclusion criteria were patients who
underwent head and neck surgery without neck dissection and had a closed suction drain inserted. Drainage rates were measured at 8-hourly intervals. Drains were removed when drainage-rate was ≤ 1 ml/h over an 8-h period.
A total of 43 patients were evaluated. The highest drainage rate occurred in the first 8 postoperative hours and decreased significantly in the subsequent hours. The median drainage rates at 8, 16, 24, 32 and 40 postoperative hours were 3.375, 1, 0, 0 and 0 ml/h, respectively. Applying our new removal criteria of ≤ 1 ml/h drainage rate, the drains were removed in 22 (51%) patients at the 16th postoperative hour; 37 (86%) were removed by 24 h after operation. In comparison, only nine (20.9%) patients could potentially be discharged the day after surgery if previous criteria of ≤ 25 ml/24-h were used to decide on drain removal.
Our 8-hourly drainage-rate monitoring has facilitated safe earlier discharge of an additional 28 (65%) patients on the day after surgery. This has led to improvement in patient care, better optimisation of hospital resources and resulted in positive economic implications to the department.
Drainage; Postoperative care; Head and neck neoplasm; Patient discharge
We performed this study to investigate whether the use of closed-suction drainage following microvascular decompression (MVD) causes cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage.
Between 2004 and 2011, a total of 157 patients with neurovascular compression were treated with MVD. MVD was performed for hemifacial spasm in 150 (95.5%) cases and for trigeminal neuralgia in 7 (4.5%) cases. The mean age of the patients was 49.8±9.6 years (range, 20-69). Dural substitutes were used in 44 (28.0%) patients. Ninety-two patients (58.6%) were underwent a 4-5 cm craniotomy using drainage (drainage group), and 65 (41.4%) did a small 2-2.5 cm retromastoid craniectomy without closed-suction drainage (no-drainage group).
Eleven (7.0%) patients experienced CSF leakage following MVD based on the criteria of this study; all of these patients were in the drainage group. In the unadjusted analyses, the incidence of CSF leakage was significantly related with the use of closed-suction drainage following MVD (12.0% in the drainage group vs. 0% in the no-drainage group, respectively; p=0.003; Fisher's exact test). Those who received dural substitutes and the elderly (cut-off value=60 years) exhibited a tendency to develop CSF leakage (p=0.075 and p=0.090, respectively; Fisher's exact test). In the multivariate analysis, only the use of closed-suction drainage was significantly and independently associated with the development of CSF leakage following MVD (odds ratio=9.900; 95% confidence interval, 1.418 to infinity; p=0.017).
The use of closed-suction drainage following MVD appears to be related to the development of CSF leakage.
Microvascular decompression; Cerebrospinal fluid leakage; Closed-suction drainage; Hemifacial spasm; Trigeminal neuralgia
Commercial closed-suctions drainage systems are commonly used in the United States and many other countries for use in neurosurgical cases. However, in Tanzania and other developing nations with fewer resources, these are not available. This report explores another option for a closed-system drainage system utilizing inexpensive supplies found commonly in hospitals around the world.
Sterile IV-tubing is cut, inserted into the wound, and brought out through an adjacent puncture incision. For suction, an empty plastic bottle can be attached to the tubing.
The IV-tubing closed-suction drainage system was applied in both cranial and spinal neurosurgical procedures, including as subdural, subgaleal, epidural, and suprafacial drains. It maintained suction and was an adequate substitute when commercial drains are unavailable.
This report illustrates how sterile IV-tubing can be adapted for use as a closed-drainage system. It utilizes inexpensive supplies commonly found in many hospitals throughout the world and can be applied to both cranial and spinal neurosurgical procedures.
Africa; global health; neurosurgical techniques
Twenty-three patients with primary spontaneous pneumothorax and 30 patients with secondary spontaneous pneumothorax treated by intercostal catheter drainage with underwater seal were divided randomly into two groups, one receiving suction drainage (up to 20 cm H2O pressure) and the other no suction. The success rate was 57% for the former and 50% for the latter. The suction group spent an average of five days in hospital, whereas the non-suction group averaged four days. Suction drainage therefore did not have any advantage. To determine how soon the catheter could be removed without complication, patients were also divided randomly into two subgroups--one had the catheter removed, without previous clamping, as soon as the lung was expanded; the other had the catheters left in situ for a further three days. The success rate was 52% for the former, and 53% for the latter. But most of the failure in the early removal group was caused by re-collapse of the lung rather than persistent air leakage; hence removal of the catheter too early was not recommended.
A 67-year-old man with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis and a medical history significant for coronary artery disease underwent routine lumbar surgical decompression. The objective of this study was to report a case of postoperative epidural hematoma associated with the use of emergent anticoagulation, including the dangers associated with spinal decompression and early postoperative anticoagulation.
After anticoagulation therapy for postoperative myocardial ischemia, the patient developed paresis with ascending abdominal paraesthesias. Immediate decompression of the surgical wound was carried out at the bedside. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a massive spinal epidural hematoma extending from the middle of the cervical spine to the sacrum. Emergent cervical, thoracic, and revision lumbar laminectomy without fusion was performed to decompress the spinal canal and evacuate the hematoma.
Motor and sensory function returned to normal by 14 days postoperatively, but bowel and bladder function continued to be impaired. Postoperative radiographs showed that coronal and sagittal spinal alignment did not change significantly after extensive laminectomy.
Full anticoagulation should be avoided in the early postoperative period. In cases requiring early vigorous anticoagulation, patients should be closely monitored for changes in neurologic status. Combined cervical, thoracic, and lumbar laminectomy, without instrumentation or fusion, is an acceptable treatment option.
Spinal stenosis, lumbar; Spinal decompression; Anticoagulation; Epidural hematoma; Laminectomy