BACKGROUND: Local anaesthetic thoracoscopy (LAT) is an important procedure in the management pathway of patients with pleural effusions, particularly those with suspected malignancy. The last survey evaluating the use and development of LAT services in the UK was conducted over a decade ago.
OBJECTIVES: We performed a survey of LAT practices in the UK to explore procedural preferences and variations in practice.
METHODS: The online survey was cascaded via regional pleural specialists to sites performing LAT. One response per site was accepted.
RESULTS: Thirty-seven responses were received from England, Scotland and Wales. Most centres have regular access to a dedicated list and a designated area to perform LAT. 97% of the centres have at least 2 trained thoracoscopists. Some variation in practice is seen with patient preparation pre-procedure and medication use. Other procedures, such as insertion of indwelling pleural catheters and adhesiolysis, are not uncommon to be undertaken at the time of LAT.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the results are comparable, excepting some minor variations in patient preparation pre-procedure. We hope that this survey functions as an information resource for centres developing a LAT service or for those considering expansion.
- pleural effusions