Research Article

Thoracoscopic Cystostomy of Pulmonary Hydatid Cyst in Children


  • Ufuk Ateș
  • Ergun Ergün
  • Gülnur Göllü
  • Aydın Yağmurlu
  • A. Murat Çakmak
  • Hüseyin Dindar
  • Meltem Bingöl-Koloğlu

Received Date: 19.12.2016 Accepted Date: 01.06.2017 J Ankara Univ Fac Med 2017;70(1):77-82


Echinococcosis is still an important health problem throughout the world, particularly in the Mediterranean area. In humans, the lungs are the second most commonly affected sites. The disease may affect children and its treatment may be challenging. In children, small hydatid cysts of the lungs respond favorably to the medical treatment. Surgery is the standard option for the treatment of large and complicated cysts. In current practice, thoracotomy and parenchyme-saving procedures such as cystostomy and capitonnage remain the standard surgical approach for pulmonary hydatid cysts in children. However, surgical experience with thoracoscopy is limited. The aim is to present the experience in thoracoscopic management of pulmonary hydatid cysts in children.

Patients and Methods:

Medical records of children who underwent thoracoscopic cystostomy of pulmonary hydatid cysts between 2008- 2016 were reviewed. Surgical treatment was recommended for patients who remained symptomatic on medical treatment and when the cyst size was larger than 6 cm in diameter. Parenchyme-saving surgery was preferred which included cystostomy, removal of germinative membrane and control of air leaks. Capitonnage was not preferred because of the risk of deterioration in lung capacity.


Fifteen patients underwent 16 thoracoscopy procedures for pulmonary hydatid cysts. One of the patients had bilateral complicated pulmonary hydatid cysts. There were conversions to mini-thoracotomy in 3 (20%) procedures because the air leaks could not be controlled safely. The procedure was completed thoracoscopically in 12 patients. In thoracoscopically completed cases, prolonged air leak (over a week) occurred in 3 (25%) patients and one of them underwent thoracotomy to control bronchopulmonary fistula. One of the patients underwent laparoscopic cystostomy and capitonnage for associated liver hydatid cyst. There were no recurrences during 60 months of mean follow-up time and no problem was observed during the follow-up period.


Thoracoscopic management is recommended in children with uncomplicated hydatid cyst. In complicated hydatid cysts, however, thoracoscopic wedge resection is recommended. If there is difficulty in controlling bronchial openings, mini-thoracotomy could be considered.

Keywords: Children, Hydatid Cyst, Thoracoscopy