Article Text

Audit, research and guideline update
Ambulatory percutaneous lung biopsy with early discharge and Heimlich valve management of iatrogenic pneumothorax: more for less
  1. A N Tavare1,
  2. D D Creer2,
  3. S Khan2,
  4. R Vancheeswaran2,
  5. S S Hare1
  1. 1Department of Radiology, Barnet General Hospital, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Respiratory Medicine, Barnet General Hospital, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr S S Hare, Department of Radiology, Barnet Hospital, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, Wellhouse Lane, EN5 3DJ, UK; samhare{at}


A prospective study of 489 consecutive outpatient image-guided percutaneous lung biopsies was conducted to determine whether early discharge, incorporating ambulatory Heimlich valve drain, is potentially advantageous to the National Health Service. Patients were discharged at 30 or 60 min, with significant pneumothoraces treated using Heimlich valve. 485 (99.2%) patients were successfully discharged early, 402 at 30 min. 87 (17.8%) patients developed pneumothorax: 52 required Heimlich valve; 5 proceeded to biopsy with Heimlich valve in situ. All drains were removed within 48 h, 38/52 (73.1%) at 24 h. Our results provide evidence for a paradigm shift in UK practice: early discharge lung biopsy, facilitated by ambulatory Heimlich valve, is safe with significant clinical and economic benefits.

  • Lung Cancer

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary Data

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.