The aim of the study is to retrospectively analyze the cough status after double lumen tube (DLT) and spontaneous respiration thoracic anesthesia, to compare the degree of influence of anesthesia and surgical factors, and to investigate whether spontaneous respiration anesthesia can reduce the incidence of a cough.

Postoperative follow-ups were performed on 1,162 patients from July 2011 to December 2015 who meet the selected conditions, whose surgical approach is limited to VAST bullectomy, wedge resection, segmentectomy, or lobectomy.

Thoracoscopic Surgery

Patients' probability of cough in 1st day (T1), 2nd days (T2), 3rd days (T3), 1st month (T4), 3rd months (T5), 6th months (T6) and 12th months (T7) after thoracoscopic surgery were recorded, as well as the Leicester cough questionnaire (LCQ) survey results, visual cough score (VAS), and cough symptom scores.

All cases were divided into double-lumen endotracheal tubes anesthesia group (group T, n=925 cases) and spontaneous respiratory anesthesia group (group S, n=456 cases), and group S was further divided into intravenous composite intercostal nerve block anesthesia group (group SB, n=157 cases) and intravenous combined epidural anesthesia group (group SE, n=299 cases).

Variability In Cough Rates

The probability of a cough decreases with the increasing of postoperative time (P<0.05). The probability of a cough is similar between group SE and group SB (P>0.05). The probability of a cough in group T is significantly higher than other groups at any time point (P<0.05).

In group T, the symptom of a cough is the most severe, the scores of physiological, psychological, and social parts of LCQ are the lowest, and the VAS score is the highest (P<0.05), but all these are similar in group SE and group SB (P>0.05). The duration of antibiotic application, the days of chest drainage tube indwelling, and the days of hospital stay are all lower in group S than in group T (P<0.05).

A postoperative Cough

There is a correlation between pulmonary surgery and postoperative cough. The probability of a postoperative cough is higher in the more invasive patients. The probability of coughing is approximately 27% to 36% at three months after surgery and approximately 2.6% to 7.9% in one year after surgery.

The combination of surgery and anesthesia methods increases the probability of a cough from 48.9% to 65.1% at three months after surgery, and about 20.5% to 22.8% in 1 year after surgery. Spontaneous respiration anesthesia can significantly reduce the probability of a cough, improve postoperative recovery, and improve postoperative quality of life.