Routine postoperative chest x-ray following laparoscopic nephrectomy.

Scott D. Simon, Erik P. Castle, Robert G. Ferrigni, Paul E. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To determine whether a routine postoperative chest x-ray is required following uneventful laparoscopic nephrectomy to rule out pneumothorax. METHODS: From June 1999 to May 2003, 308 laparoscopic nephrectomy cases were performed by 5 different surgeons. This consisted of 121 radical nephrectomies, 106 donor nephrectomies, 29 simple nephrectomies, 29 partial nephrectomies, and 23 nephroureterectomies. Of the 308 procedures, 186 postoperative chest x-ray s were obtained in the recovery room: 183 routinely and 3 for known intraoperative diaphragmatic injuries. Routine chest x-rays were not obtained in 122 cases due to the individual surgeon's preference. Of these 122 patients, 15 underwent chest x-ray performed while hospitalized secondary to pulmonary issues or fever. RESULTS: Of the 308 cases, 4 pneumothoraces were identified on chest x-ray. Three were identified in the patients who had intraoperative identification of diaphragmatic injury. The fourth pneumothorax was identified in a patient who did not have a routine postoperative chest x-ray but did have a chest x-ray obtained due to postoperative shoulder pain. The pneumothorax in this patient resolved spontaneously. No incidental findings existed of pneumothorax in any patient who underwent routine postoperative chest x-ray. CONCLUSION: In our series, a pneumothorax was identified either intraoperatively or based on postoperative clinical findings. None of the 183 routine postoperative chest x-rays changed patient management. Routine postoperative chest x-ray is not necessary in uncomplicated laparoscopic nephrectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-207
Number of pages3
JournalJSLS : Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons / Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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