Delayed-onset pericardial effusion following cardiac surgery can give rise to significant morbidity due to its presentation as well as management by traditional surgical techniques. An institutional experience of a video-assisted thoracoscopic technique to create a pericardial window, with the advantages of a minimally invasive approach combined with excellent visualization in such patients, was reviewed. A retrospective analysis was conducted on all patients undergoing video-assisted thoracoscopic for delayed pericardial effusion after cardiac surgery from January 2001 to January 2006 at our center. Seven patients with echocardiographically diagnosed delayed tamponade underwent video-assisted thoracoscopy; 5 were receiving anticoagulants after valve replacement, and 2 had undergone heart transplantation. Pericardial windows were created under general anesthesia and single-lung ventilation using 2 to 3 trocars. Mean operative time was 45 min. There were no complications of the thoracoscopic technique. Video-assisted thoracoscopic creation of a pericardial window is safe and effective treatment for loculated pericardial effusions secondary to cardiac surgery.
- Cardiac Tamponade
- Pericardial Effusion
- Pericardial Window Techniques
- Thoracic Surgery