BACKGROUND: A combined thoraco-laparoscopic technique for esophageal resection is technically possible, but it requires special attention to ventilation. The positive insufflation pressure normally used in laparoscopy will, when communication between thorax and abdomen is established, create a pneumothorax.
METHODS: We performed an experimental study of differential lung ventilation with different levels of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) settings during thoraco-laparoscopy in anesthetized pigs.
RESULTS: Positive pressure insufflation of carbon dioxide (CO2) resulted in elevated pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, hypercarbia, and respiratory acidosis. Hypoxemia, however, developed only at lower settings of PEEP. Heart rate, mean arterial pressure, and cardiac output remained relatively stable.
CONCLUSION: Pneumopleuroperitoneum under positive CO2 insufflation pressure had adverse effects on blood gases. Hypercarbia, respiratory acidosis, and hypoxemia were early manifestations that occurred even in the presence of hemodynamic stability. The application of PEEP equal to or above CO2 insufflation pressure improved blood gases; in particular, the hypoxia could be avoided. No beneficial effects of differential lung ventilation were documented.
2001. Vol. 15, no 12, 1478-83 p.