Thoracoscopy: Medical versus surgical-in the management of pleural diseases

Samira Shojaee, Hans J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Diseases of the pleura continue to affect a large population of patients worldwide and in the United States. Pleural fluid analysis and accompanying imaging of the pleura including chest X-rays, chest computed tomography (CT) scan and chest ultrasonography are among the first steps in the management of pleural effusions. When further diagnostic or therapeutic work up is necessary, open thoracotomy and thoracoscopy come to mind. However, given the significant morbidity and mortality associated with open thoracotomy, and the advances in medicine and medical instruments, thoracoscopy has now become a routine procedure in the management of the disease of the chest including pleura. Debates about surgical vs. medical thoracoscopy (MT) are ongoing. In the following pages we review the literature and discuss the similarities and differences between the two procedures, as well as their indications, contraindications, complications and efficacy in the management of pleural diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S339-S351
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Malignancy
  • Pleural effusion
  • Thoracoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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