Bronchopleural fistula (BPF) is a relatively rare complication after various types of pulmonary resection. The double-sided mushroom-shaped occluder (Amplatzer device, AD) has been gradually used for BPF blocking due to its reliable blocking effect. We have improved the existing AD implantation methods to facilitate clinical use and named the new approach Sheath-free method (SFM). The aim of the present report was to explore the reliability and advantages of the SFM in AD implantation.
We improved the existing implantation methods by abandoning the sheath of the AD and using the working channel of the bronchoscope to directly store or release the AD without general anesthesia, rigid bronchoscopy, fluoroscopy, or bronchography. A total of 6 patients (5 men and 1 woman, aged 66.67 ± 6.19 years [mean ± SD]) had BPF blocking and underwent the SFM in AD implantation.
AD implantation was successfully performed in all 6 patients with the SFM, 4 persons had a successful closure of the fistula, one person died after few days and one person did not have a successful closure of the fistula. The average duration of operation was 16.17 min (16.17 ± 4.67 min [mean ± SD]). No patients died due to operation complications or BPF recurrence. The average follow-up time was 13.2 months (range 10-17 months).
We observed that the SFM for AD implantation-with accurate device positioning and a clear field of vision-is efficient and convenient. The AD is effective in BPF blocking, and could contribute to significantly improved symptoms of patients.