Purpose: To investigate the risk factors of recurrence of pneumothorax following thoracoscopic bullectomy in young adults. Methods: Between January, 2005 and September, 2015, 167 patients aged ≤40 years underwent initial thoracoscopic bullectomy for primary spontaneous pneumothorax (PSP) at our hospital. Recurrence-free probability was calculated from the date of surgery to recurrence or last follow-up, using the Kaplan–Meier method. Results: Sixteen (9.6%) of the 167 patients suffered a recurrence (collective total, 16 recurrences). The recurrence-free intervals were 3–107 months (median 25.8 months), and the 5-year recurrence-free probability was 85.9%. Multivariate Cox analysis demonstrated that age ≤23 years (p = 0.029) and a history of ipsilateral pneumothorax before surgery (p = 0.029) were significantly associated with higher risk of recurrence. The 5-year recurrence-free probability was 72.3% for patients aged ≤23 years and a history of ipsilateral pneumothorax before surgery and 94.1% for those with neither of these factors (p = 0.001). Recurrence developed within 3 years after surgery in 14 of the 16 patients. Conclusions: Patients ≤23 years of age with a history of ipsilateral pneumothorax before surgery are at significantly high risk of its recurrence, frequently within 3 years; thus, the risk of postoperative recurrence of a pneumothorax must be kept in mind.
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