Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery and BioMed Central.

Open Access Open Badges Research article

Bilateral staged thoracotomy for multiple lung hydatidosis

Leyla Hasdıraz*, Omer Onal and Fahri Oguzkaya

Author Affiliations

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Erciyes University Medical Faculty, Kayseri 38039, Turkey

For all author emails, please log on.

Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2013, 8:121  doi:10.1186/1749-8090-8-121

Published: 3 May 2013



Hydatid cyst disease is still a problem in many countries. Surgical removal is currently the generally accepted choice of treatment for lung hydatidosis. However, operating on bilateral widespread lung hydatidosis is still controversial. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the results of surgical treatment in bilateral multiple hydatid disease of the lung.


In this study, we reviewed our experience in the surgical treatment of 17 (3.7%) patients with bilateral, and at least three, lung hydatid cysts. These 17 patients (8 male, 9 female), with an average age of 34.6 years (range 12–58 years), underwent bilateral staged thoracotomy.


In total 105 lung cysts were removed from 17 patients who underwent staged thoracotomies. The mean count of cysts was 6.7 (range 3–20 cysts). Most of the cysts (38.2%) were located in the right lower lobe. The mean interval between thoracotomies was 4.2 (range 3–5) days. Two patients (11.7%) had cysts associated with hepatic hydatidosis and one (5.8%) had cysts associated with the spleen; they were treated via phrenotomy during thoracotomies. All cysts were removed without lung resection. We observed some complications such as prolonged air leaks (n = 2), atelectasis (n = 3) and empyema (n = 2). No further surgery was required for management of complications. The mean hospital stay was 9.3 days. (range 7–23 days). Oral albendazole was started on the 2nd post operative day after the first thoracotomy in the dose of 10–20 mg/kg and was continued for 3 months with a gap of 1 week after each 21 days. No recurrences or deaths occured during the follow-up period.


Although staged thoracotomy applied in 3–5 days after the initial thoracotomy increases the total hospital stay, it decreases the chance of possible complications can occur in cysts in the other lung when long intervals are preferred between the first and the second thoracotomy. In our experience, bilateral staged thoracotomy is an appropriate surgical option because morbidity rates are minimal and the hospital stay is acceptable for the treatment of bilateral widespread lung hydatidosis, even in patients who had a total of 20 hydatid cysts.

Hydatid disease; Lung; Thoracotomy; Multiple cysts