Can spontaneous pneumothorax patients be treated by ambulatory care management?

Sung Hyuk Choi, Sung Woo Lee, Yun Sik Hong, Su Jin Kim, Jun Dong Moon, Sungwoo Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: In the Emergency Department, it would be worthwhile to treat pneumothorax patients on an outpatient basis by utilizing a small-calibre catheter and Heimlich valve insertion. We evaluated this treatment and compared it with the closed thoracostomy. Methods: In this comparative study, the success rate, complications and recurrence rate of treating spontaneous pneumothorax patients by using a small-calibre catheter and Heimlch valve were compared with those of a similar-sized group treated by closed thoracostomy. Results: Pneumothorax was successfully treated on an ambulatory basis by using the small-calibre catheter and Heimlch valve in 20 patients (47%); this was less than the 42 patients (89%) who were successfully treated by closed thoracostomy. While no complications were encountered in the group treated using the small-calibre catheter and Heimlich valve, 11 patients in the group treated by closed thoracostomy developed complications. The medical expenses for the treatment involving the small-calibre catheter and Heimlich valve were less than those for closed thoracostomy. Conclusion: Prior to the treatment, the patients should be fully informed of the success rate of this treatment and the possibility of requiring closed thoracostomy in the event of treatment failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-495
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Mar 1



  • Crowding
  • Emergencies
  • Outpatients
  • Pneumothorax
  • Thoracostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery

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