In Mearnskirk Hospital, Glasgow, 29 patients with postpneumonectomy empyema were treated by fenestration in a 12-year-period. Seven of these were not considered fit enough for definitive closure and died of continuing disease or respiratory infection. Twenty-two patients went on to closure of their fenestra, and in 17 (77%) the pneumonectomy space was rendered permanently sterile. If the empyema recurred treatment was repeated but proved less successful. Fenestration is an effective method of dealing with postpneumonectomy empyema, but also has several other advantages, particularly if the empyema is associated with a bronchopleural fistula.
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