The surgical treatment of empyema has evolved from Hippocratic medicine over the years, with drainage as its premise. With medical advances, the minimally invasive approach has become the standard, leaving aside other surgical techniques. Open thoracostomy, in selected patients, may become the last and best option for the control of the infectious focus: it is a surgical option for the treatment of empyemas in morbid patients and in the organization phase when other treatments have failed, with an acceptable morbidity and mortality. This technique should be in the surgeon’s therapeutic arsenal. We present a series of four cases of patients with empyema in the organization phase, in which the surgical risk was very high, so it was decided to perform an open thoracostomy, which turn out successful.
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