Tracheal anaesthesia for transthoracic endoscopic sympathectomy: An alternative to endobronchial anaesthesia

D. Olsfanger, R. Jedeikin, B. Fredman, D. Shachor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When using endobronchial anaesthesia for the management of transthoracic endoscopic sympathectomy (TES), excessive insufflation of carbon dioxide into the pleural space may cause haemodynamic instability, hypoxaemia and tension pneumothorax. We prospectively studied an alternative technique using a tracheal tube, i.v. fentanyl, propofol, atracurium and nitrous oxide in 82 consecutive healthy patients (31 male, 51 female; mean age 26.48 (range 14-50) yr, weight 61.26 (33-100) kg.) They were suffering from severe palmar hyperhidrosis and they underwent bilateral TES (mean duration of operation 34.57 (15-90) min). After being placed in a 30-40° head-up position, three patients required ephedrine to treat arterial hypotension. A capnograph was used to confirm correct placement of the Verres needle in the pleural space. In two groups of 13 patients undergoing ventilation with an FI(O2) of either 0.3 or 0.4, during partial collapse of the operative lung, Pa(O2) and the Pa(O2): FI(O2) ratio decreased significantly (P < 0.001). TES was unsuccessful in three patients because of pleural adhesions. After operation five patients required chest drains; two for haemothorax and three for pneumothorax. Seventy-seven patients without complications were discharged from hospital within 24 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-144
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Endobronchial intubation
  • Regional anaesthetic techniques
  • Thoracic anaesthetic techniques
  • Thoracic surgery


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