Surgery versus non-surgical treatment for bronchiectasis

Removal of affected parts of the lung is often carried out in patients with bronchiectasis. A review was performed with the aim of identifying evidence for the benefit of surgery in bronchiectasis. No randomised controlled trials were identified so it is not possible to provide an unbiased estimate of the benefit of surgery for patients with bronchiectasis.

Authors' conclusions: 

Surgical treatment of bronchiectasis is widely used, but there appear to be no randomised controlled trials. It is not possible to provide an unbiased estimate of its benefit compared to conservative therapy .

Read the full abstract...

Standard treatment for bronchiectasis comprises postural drainage and various regimes of antibiotic therapy. If the disease is confined to localised areas of lung, surgical resection of the affected segments is often performed.


To assess the benefit of surgical resection compared with standard ("conservative") treatment.

Search strategy: 

The Cochrane Airways Group Specialised Register of trials was searched up to May 2011.

Selection criteria: 

Only randomised, controlled trials were considered

Data collection and analysis: 

The titles, abstracts and citations were independently reviewed by the two reviewers to assess potential relevance for full review.

Main results: 

No randomised or controlled clinical trials were found, other than case series or case-controlled studies. Subsequent update searches have failed to identify any trials.

Health topics: