Digital Air Leak Assessment: New Clinical publication

One of the biggest challenges facing practitioners of Lung resection surgery, as readers of Tissuemed’s news output will know, is how to develop a treatment regime which prevents post surgical air leaks in a demonstrably effective way. The inputs into the discussion are numerous, not least being the method adopted during surgery to protect at-risk tissue from suffering sustained air leak or even becoming progressively more leaky in the post-operative phase. Interestingly one of the reasons why air leak reduction has taken a while to become a fully fledged dot on the radar has been the inherently subjective manner in which post-operative leaks are assessed.

The adage that once you start to measure things their performance improved holds true here and this new paper hints at this by proposing that adopting a digital air leak measurement regime can actually contribute to measurable parameters including duration, drain removal and discharge. Unsurprisingly, rather than effecting a change to the air leaks per se, what the paper appears to conclude is that by providing more accurate assessment of air leaks the treatment regime can be tailored as appropriate with a higher degree of confidence.

Interestingly patient stay was actually reduced (albeit not statistically significantly) from 7.1 to 6.5 days. Tissuemed’s contention is that by selective use of its TissuePatchThoracic synthetic absorbable adhesive sealant film on at-risk tissues or existent identified air leaks the operator has at his/her disposal the means to optimise every patient’s air leak status at the end of the procedure. Digital measurement of the existence of air leaks will be a useful tool in confirming this view as more clinicians adopt such technologies.