Completion pneumonectomy for chronic mycobacterial disease

J. Timothy Sherwood, John D. Mitchell, Marvin Pomerantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objective: Patients with persistent pulmonary infections from mycobacterial disease present a difficult clinical challenge. These individuals typically have poor pulmonary function, malnutrition, and other comorbidities, and few guidelines exist regarding optimal therapy. We report our experience with completion pneumonectomy as part of a multidisciplinary treatment program for patients with recurrent, persistent mycobacterial disease. Methods: During a 9-year period, 26 consecutive patients underwent completion pneumonectomy for mycobacterial disease. All patients underwent intensive, guided preoperative antibiotic therapy and aggressive nutritional supplementation. Complete surgical resection of the remaining destroyed or infected lung tissue was performed, often through an extrapleural dissection with intrapericardial ligation of vessels. Vascularized tissue flaps were used whenever possible to buttress the bronchial stump closure. Postoperative management consisted of a multidisciplinary approach, with ongoing antibiotic and nutritional therapy. Results: The primary organisms were Mycobacterium avium complex (n = 15), Mycobacterium tuberculosis (n = 5), Mycobacterium abscessus (n = 3), Mycobacterium xenopi (n = 2), and Mycobacterium chelonae (n = 1). Operative mortality was 23% (6/26): respiratory failure or adult respiratory distress syndrome in 2 cases, sepsis in 2, bronchopleural fistula in 1, and pulmonary embolism in 1. Significant morbidity occurred in 46% (12/26). Among the 17 long-term survivors, sputum conversion or discontinuation of medications was achieved in 14 (82%). Mean length of follow-up was 45 months (range 4-105 months). Conclusion: Completion pneumonectomy remains an important component of therapy in patients with mycobacterial disease who have had failure of previous therapy. Although associated with significant risks, successful outcomes can be achieved with an organized, multidisciplinary approach and careful postoperative follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1258-1265
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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