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Intraoperative Management of Pulmonary Artery Bleeding With Hemostatic Agents

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Steimer, Desiree; Polhemus, Emily; White, Abby; Swanson, Scott (2021): Intraoperative Management of Pulmonary Artery Bleeding with Hemostatic Agents. CTSNet, Inc. Media.

Small defects in the pulmonary artery can be managed with compression and usually do not require aggressive intervention (1-3). Major injury to the pulmonary artery, however, can lead to large volume blood loss and rapid hemodynamic collapse, if not addressed appropriately (1-3). In this case, we encountered significant pulmonary artery bleeding during a VATS lingula-sparing left upper lobectomy in a patient treated with neoadjuvant EGFR and MEK targeted therapy for lung adenocarcinoma.

To initially obtain control, we used the suction irrigator to laterally compress the arterial defect as temporary hemostasis; a technique previously described by Lui et al (1,2). Although the operating room was prepared to convert to thoracotomy, there was evidence throughout the case that tissue integrity was an issue, and there was concern that the arterial tissues would not support further manipulation. For this reason, we applied a hemostatic fibrin sealant patch (EVARREST®, Ethicon, Inc., Somerville, NJ) directly on the artery to prevent catastrophic bleeding. With sufficient time and compression, the injury was sealed and no sutures were needed to obtain hemostasis. The durability of the fibrin sealant patch was tested intraoperatively with administration of intravenous phenylephrine and lung inflation; neither maneuver exacerbated bleeding. The patient did not require any additional intervention and was discharged home on postoperative day 3.

While this approach is not yet generalizable, we think it provides an example of the potential for topical coagulants in pulmonary surgery.


  1. Xiao ZL, Mei JD, Pu Q, et al. Technical strategy for dealing with bleeding during thoracoscopic lung surgery. Ann Cardiothorac Surg. 2014;3(2):213-215.
  2. Mei JD, Pu Q, Liao H, et al. A novel method for troubleshooting vascular injury during anatomic thoracoscopic pulmonary resection without conversion to thoracotomy. Surg Endosc. 2013;27:530-537.
  3. Demmy TL, James TA, Swanson SJ, et al. Troubleshooting video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy. Ann Thorac Surg. 2005;79:1744-53.


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Lucky case! I'm quite concerned about performing an apical wedge resection after stapling of the trisegmental vein. Did you consider remaining lung venous drainage in the decision making process and why didn't you perform an open trisegmentectomy? Did the patient experience any lobar infarction?
Great questions! The patient did not experience any infarction in the remnant lung. The main rationale for not converting to an open procedure was mainly influenced by the quality of the tissue being so abnormal and concern that the PA would not hold sutures. At the time, we felt the lingular vein would provide sufficient venous drainage to the remaining lung.

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