Study: Minimizing Air Leaks in Complex Lung Surgery Shortens Length of Stay

A recently presented clinical paper compares Video Assisted (VATS) Lung Volume Reduction Surgery with and without using TissuePatch™ sealant film to minimize air leaks. Use of the film was associated with shorter duration of indwelling chest drains as well as reduced length of hospital stay.


Persistent post-operative air leakage following lung surgery can be problematic, being associated with a host of complications including infection, higher mortality and even re-operation. Patients with persistent air leaks remain on indwelling chest drains for longer and remain in hospital until the leakage has resolved. Consequently thoracic surgeons go to some lengths to avoid air leakage or at least minimize their likelihood.

Tissuemed®’s TissuePatch self-adhesive surgical sealant film was originally conceived as a device that could help surgeons of different specialties to avoid post-operative complications associated with leakage. In the case of lung surgery this means reducing air leakage by application of the film over staple-lines.

Surgeons from the Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, UK, recently presented results from a comparative study between 86 patients undergoing VATS Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS) in whom TissuePatch was used, and 169 in whom lung tissues had been closed using buttressed staple only or in conjunction with a traditional liquid glue.

The results demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in drain time and Length of Stay (LOS) in TissuePatch patients, with the difference becoming even further marked in older patients and those at highest risk. Overall length of stay was 11 days vs 14 (p=0.007), extending to 12 vs 18 days on patients over 60 (p=0.006).

Tissuemed has used accepted NHS cost data to translate Length of Stay reduction into cash savings and claims that evaluating the implications in monetary terms reinforces the Health Economic case for using TissuePatch™ for controlling air leaks in lung volume reduction surgery. Based on the latest NHS Reference Costs, use of TissuePatch in the highest risk Lung Volume Reduction Surgery procedures has been demonstrated to offer savings to the NHS of £2,121 for each patient, as demonstrated on a new infographic issued by the company.

Physician comments

Presenting the study at the annual meeting of the Italian Thoracic Society in October, investigator Rocca Bilancia stated; “The routine use of surgical sealant films has contributed to an overall reduction in LOS of around 20%, after LVRS. The benefit is particularly noted in patients at highest risk of air leak and its consequences.”

Company comments

Tissuemed CEO Dr David Mandley commented; “At Tissuemed we are proud that our years spent developing TissuePatch™ yielded a product that can help improve patient outcomes. It’s very rewarding to see independent confirmation that our efforts can really help to deliver cost savings to healthcare providers as well as the benefit for patients of reduced time on a chest drain and days in hospital.”

Source: Tissuemed Ltd.

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