The Interest of Performing “On-Demand Chest X-rays” after Lung Resection by Minimally Invasive Surgery
07 November 2016
17 January 2017
11 April 2017 (eFirst)
Background There is a lack of consensus in hospital centers regarding costly daily routine chest X-rays after lung resection by minimally invasive surgery. Indeed, there is no evidence that performing daily chest X-rays prevents postoperative complications. Our objective was to compare chest X-rays performed on demand when there was clinical suspicion of postoperative complications and chest X-rays performed systematically in daily routine practice.
Methods This prospective single-center study compared 55 patients who had on-demand chest X-rays and patients in the literature who had daily routine chest X-rays. Our primary evaluation criterion was length of hospitalization.
Results The length of hospitalization was 5.3 ± 3.3 days for patients who had on-demand X-rays, compared with 4 to 9.7 days for patients who had daily routine X-rays. Time to chest tube removal (4.34 days), overall complication rate (27.2%), reoperation rate (3.6%), and mortality rate (1.8%) were comparable to those in the literature. On average, our patients only had 1.22 ± 1.8 on-demand X-rays, compared with 3.3 X-rays if daily routine protocol had been applied. Patients with complications had more X-rays (3.4 ± 1.8) than patients without complications (0.4 ± 0.7).
Conclusion On-demand chest X-rays do not seem to delay the diagnosis of postoperative complications or increase morbidity–mortality rates. Performing on-demand chest X-rays could not only simplify surgical practice but also have a positive impact on health care expenses. However, a broader randomized study is warranted to validate this work and ultimately lead to national consensus.