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Recalcitrant Subcutaneous Emphysema: A Solution with A Simple Method [Eurasian J Pulmonol]
Eurasian J Pulmonol. 2017; 19(2): 115-118 | DOI: 10.5152/ejp.2017.07379  

Recalcitrant Subcutaneous Emphysema: A Solution with A Simple Method

Jose Zapatero Gaviria1, Pedro Gato Díaz1, Teresa Pérez-warnisher2, Sara Vicente Antunes1, Juan Manuel Corral Cano1, Pablo Fernandez Gómez-escolar1, Ignacio Muguruza Trueba1
1Department of Thoracic Surgery, Fundación Jiménez Díaz Hospital, Madrid, Spain
2Department of Pulmonology, Fundación Jiménez Díaz Hospital, Madrid, Spain

Objective: To report our experience in treating 10 consecutive patients with recalcitrant subcutaneous emphysema (SE) using two different types of subcutaneous drains.
Methods: A retrospective review of our experience in managing 10 cases of recalcitrant SE. The method that we employed consisted of creating a subcutaneous tunnelization of the pre-pectoral space, under previous local anesthesia, and inserting three Penrose drains (small rubber tubes) or a multifenestrated Argyle drain in the tunnels.
Results: The placement of the subcutaneous drains resolved SE in all 10 cases within a mean time of 5.3 days. No local or systemic complications were observed, but patients with the Argyle drain showed worse tolerance, presenting local pain that required treatment with additional analgesics.
Conclusion: The subcutaneous drain treatment of the recalcitrant SE is a simple, safe, and effective method that should be used in clinical practice for the better comfort of patients. In our series, Penrose drains were better tolerated than the multifenestrated Argyle drains.

Keywords: Air leak, emphysema, subcutaneous emphysema

Jose Zapatero Gaviria, Pedro Gato Díaz, Teresa Pérez-warnisher, Sara Vicente Antunes, Juan Manuel Corral Cano, Pablo Fernandez Gómez-escolar, Ignacio Muguruza Trueba. Recalcitrant Subcutaneous Emphysema: A Solution with A Simple Method. Eurasian J Pulmonol. 2017; 19(2): 115-118

Corresponding Author: Jose Zapatero Gaviria, Spain

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