Background: Echinococcus disease is endemic in sheep-and cattle-raising areas world wide. Its prevalence is also high in the Mediterranean region including Turkey. Objective: To determine the presentation, approach to surgical treatment and outcome of hydatid disease in an endemic region. Methods: From January 1989 to December 1998 288 patients, aged between 1 and 71 years with a mean age of 31 years (134 female, 154 male), were operated on for pulmonary hydatidosis. Clinical charts of the patients were reviewed retrospectively in a tertiary referral hospital. Results: Of 288 patients, 30 patients were asymptomatic, the rest (89%) were symptomatic, cough and chest pain being the most common symptoms. Fifty-three patients (18%) had associated liver hydatid cysts. Bilateral lung hydatid cysts were present in 18 patients (6%). Recurrent hydatid cysts were observed in 33 patients (11%). Seventy-seven patients (27%) presented with complicated hydatid cysts. Postoperative morbidity was observed in 3 patients [bronchopleural fistula (2), infection of the cyst space (1)] and postoperative mortality in 1 patient who presented with hydatid lung disease associated with liver and brain cysts. In the remaining 98.6%, no complications were noted. Conclusions: In conclusion, hydatidosis is still an important public health problem in Turkey and in an endemic country such as Turkey hydatid lung disease should be considered initially in a patient presenting with a corresponding chest roentgenogram and a compatible epidemiologic history. Surgery is indicated in all symptomatic and/or enlarging or infected cysts. When necessary lobectomy or wedge resection can be the procedure of choice. Single-stage combined resection is preferred in hydatid lung disease with associated liver hydatid cysts. Total postoperative complication and mortality rate is low and we recommend a close follow-up of the operated cases to diagnose postoperative recurrence early in its course.

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