Anesthetic Approach to Postpneumonectomy Syndrome

Doan V, Hammond B, Haithcock B, Kolarczyk L.Semin Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2020 May 11:1089253220919289. doi: 10.1177/1089253220919289. Online ahead of print.PMID: 32389098



Postpneumonectomy syndrome is a rare complication in patients who have previously had a pneumonectomy. Over time, the mediastinum may rotate toward the vacant pleural space, which can cause extrinsic airway and esophageal compression. As such, these patients typically present with progressive dyspnea and dysphagia. There is a paucity of reports in the anesthesiology literature regarding the intraoperative anesthetic approach to such rare patients. We present a case of an 18-year-old female found to have postpneumonectomy syndrome requiring thoracotomy with insertion of tissue expanders. Our case report illustrates the complexities involved in the care of these patients with regards to airway management, ventilation concerns, and potential for hemodynamic compromise. This case report underscores the importance of extensive multidisciplinary planning.