Surgical treatment of stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) can be performed either by thoracotomy or by employing video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of VATS lobectomy for pathologic stage I NSCLC.
Material and Methods
Between December 2003 and December 2007, 529 patients with pathologic stage I NSCLC underwent lobectomies (373 thoracotomy, 156 VATS). Patients in both groups were selected after being matched by age, gender and pathologic stage using propensity score method, to create two comparable groups: thoracotomy and VATS groups, and the overall survival, recurrence-free survival, complication and length of hospitalization were compared between these two groups.
After the patients were matched by age, gender and pathologic stage, 272 patients remained eligible for analysis, 136 in each group (mean age of 59.5 years; 70 men, 66 women; 80 stage IA, 56 stage IB). There was no statistical difference in other preoperative clinical characteristics between the two groups. No hospital mortality was observed in both groups. Overall 3-year survival rate was 97.4% in thoracotomy group and 96.6% in VATS groups (p=0.76). During the follow-up, 20 patients (14.7%) developed recurrence in thoracotomy group, including loco- regional recurrence in 7, distant metastasis in 13. In VATS group, 13 patients (9.6%) developed recurrence, including loco-regional recurrence in 4, distant metastasis in 9. Three-year recurrence-free survival rate was 81.8% in thoracotomy group and 85.3% in VATS groups (p=0.43). There was no significant difference in postoperative complications between thoracotomy and VATS groups (30 cases in 22 patients vs. 19 cases in 17 patients, p=0.65, odds ratio=1.19). The mean hospital stay of VATS group was 2 days shorter than that of thoracotomy group (8.8±6.5 days vs. 6.3±3.3 days, p<0.05).
VATS lobectomy for pathologic stage I lung cancer is a feasible operation with shorter hospitalization, while surgical outcome is comparable to thoracotomy lobectomy.
Video-assisted thoracic surgery; Lobectomy; Lung neoplasms; Neoplasm staging
Since its inception, minimally invasive surgery has made a dramatic impact on all branches of surgery. Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was first described in the early 1990s and has since become popular in a number of tertiary referral centers. Proponents of this relatively new procedure cite a number of potentially favorable perioperative outcomes, possibly due to reduced surgical trauma and stress. However, a significant proportion of the cardiothoracic community remains skeptical, as there is still a paucity of robust clinical data on long-term survival and recurrence rates.
The definition of ‘true’ VATS has also been under scrutiny, with a number of previous studies being considered ‘mini-thoracotomy lobectomy’ rather than VATS lobectomy. We hereby examine the literature on true VATS lobectomy, with a particular focus on comparative studies that directly compared VATS lobectomy with conventional open lobectomy.
Video-assisted thoracic surgery; VATS; non-small cell lung cancer; lobectomy
The purpose of this paper is to present a guideline for beginning video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy to junior surgeons, and to review the first year experience of a new surgeon performing VATS lobectomies who had not performed a VATS lobectomy unassisted during his training period.
Materials and Methods
A young surgeon opened a division of general thoracic surgery at a medical institution. The surgeon had performed about 100 lobectomies via conventional thoracotomy during his training period, but had never performed a VATS lobectomy unassisted while under the supervision of an expert. After opening the division of general thoracic surgery, the surgeon performed a total of 38 pulmonary lobectomies for various pulmonary diseases from March 2009 to February 2010. All data were collected retrospectively.
There were 14 lobectomies via thoracotomy, 14 VATS lobectomies, and 10 cases of attempted VATS lobectomies that were converted to open thoracotomies. The number of VATS lobectomies increased from the second quarter (n=0) to the third quarter (n=5). The lobectomies that were converted from VATS into thoracotomies decreased from the second quarter (n=5) to the third quarter (n=1) (p=0.002).
It can take 6 months for young surgeons without experience in VATS lobectomy in their training period to be able to reliably perform a VATS lobectomy.
Thoracoscopy; Lobectomy; Learning curve
This study examined the effect of surgeons' volume on outcomes in lung surgery: lobectomies and wedge resections. Additionally, the effect of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) on cost, utilization, and adverse events was analyzed. The Premier Hospital Database was the data source for this analysis. Eligible patients were those of any age undergoing lobectomy or wedge resection using VATS for cancer treatment. Volume was represented by the aggregate experience level of the surgeon in a six-month window before each surgery. A positive volume-outcome relationship was found with some notable features. The relationship is stronger for cost and utilization outcomes than for adverse events; for thoracic surgeons as opposed to other surgeons; for VATS lobectomies rather than VATS wedge resections. While there was a reduction in cost and resource utilization with greater experience in VATS, these outcomes were not associated with greater experience in open procedures.
Introduction: Controversy persists about the role of VATS lobectomy for patients with lung cancer. This is particularly true in Europe, where VATS (video assisted thoracic surgery) lobectomy is performed for lung cancer less often than in the USA or Japan. This article reviews existing data comparing the results of VATS vs. open lobectomy for the treatment of lung cancer in order to provide a scientific basis for a rational assessment of this issue.
Methods: The review of the data presented here draws heavily from a 2007 metaanalysis by Cheng et al.  published in 2007, as it employed rigorous methodology in performing a systematic review and metaanalysis, and involved a detailed analysis of many major and minor endpoints on an intent to treat basis. This included 36 trials, three of them randomized, and 3589 patients, reported between 1995 and 2007. Summary results for individual endpoints are shown as a mean value with 95% confidence intervals (CI). These values are taken from the summary results of the Forrest plots in the source article. Dichotomized variables are expressed as an Odds Ratio, with values <1 being in favor of VATS lobectomy. Continuous variables are reported as weighted mean differences.
Results: The operative time for a VATS lobectomy was statistically longer, but only by 16 minutes. The conversion rate from VATS to open was 6%. There was no significant difference in the rates of major bleeding, blood transfusion or re-operation. VATS lobectomy was associated with a significantly lower rate of complications in general and pulmonary complications in particular. Postoperative pain was reduced, functional outcome was better, whereas overall quality of life was not. Mediastinal staging was equal with regard to the number of nodes or the number of nodal stations sampled. The ability of patients to receive adjuvant chemotherapy was improved following VATS. There was no difference in survival at 1 and 3 years for lung cancer (all stages combined). There was no difference in survival at 5 years for each tumor stage, and no difference in the rate of deaths at maximal follow-up.
Conclusion: The data suggests that VATS lobectomy for NSCLC is safe, results in fewer complications, less pain, and more rapid return of normal functioning. There appears to be either no difference or a slight benefit in long term survival after VATS lobectomy. These conclusions are demonstrated by a comprehensive, rigorous metaanalysis of the controlled clinical trials, but are weakened by the fact that most of the studies were not randomized. However, because a large randomized trial is not likely to ever be conducted, this represents the best assessment of the value of VATS lobectomy that is available.
Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy is a newly developed type of surgery for lung cancer and has been demonstrated obvious minimally-invasive advantages compared with traditional thoracotomy. Theoretically, that less trauma leads to quicker recovery and may facilitate administration of adjuvant chemotherapy. We tested this hypothesis in this study.
One hundred and ten NSCLC patients underwent lobectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy from June 2004 to June 2010 was analyzed. The baseline characteristic criteria, variables related to surgery and accomplishing status of chemotherapy were analyzed.
All 110 patients underwent lobectomy through VATS (n = 54) or thracotomy (n = 56) and adjuvant chemotherapy. There was no significant difference in patients' age, preoperative pulmonary function, co-morbidity, pathologic staging between the two groups, whereas, blood loss, operation time and postoperative complications, chest tube duration and length of stay were less in VATS group. There were no significant differences in time to initiation chemotherapy. Cases in VATS group received more cycles of chemotherapy (3.6 vs. 3.0, p = 0.002). A higher proportion of patients received full dose on schedule in VATS group (57.4% vs. 33.9%, p = 0.013) and a higher proportion of patients completed ≥75% planed dose, (88.9% vs. 71.4%, p = 0.022); slightly higher proportion of patients in thoracotomy group had grade 3 or more toxicity (20.4% vs. 35.7%, p = 0.074).
Patients underwent lobectomy by VATS have better compliance and fewer delayed or reduced dose on adjuvant chemotherapy than those by thoracotomy.
video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS); lobectomy; non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); adjuvant chemotherapy
OBJECTIVE: To review our experience with video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) lobectomy with respect to morbidity, mortality, and short-term outcome.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: VATS lobectomies were performed in 56 patients between July 6, 2006, and February 26, 2008. Two patients declined consent for research participation and were excluded. Clinical data for 54 patients were collected from medical records and analyzed retrospectively.
RESULTS: The studied cohort included 19 men (35%) and 35 women (65%) with a median age of 67.5 years (minimum-maximum, 21-87 years; interquartile range [IQR], 59-74 years). Median duration of operation for VATS lobectomy was 139 minutes (minimum-maximum, 78-275 minutes; IQR, 121-182 minutes). Two cases (4%) required conversion to open lobectomy. Median time to chest tube removal was 2 days (minimum-maximum, 1-12 days; IQR, 1.3-3.8 days). Median length of stay was 4 days (minimum-maximum, 1-12 days; IQR, 4-7 days). There was no operative mortality.
CONCLUSION: VATS lobectomy is safe and feasible for pulmonary resection. This minimally invasive approach may allow patients to benefit from lobectomy with shorter recovery times and hospital stays compared with conventional open thoracotomy.
The authors reviewed their experience with video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy with respect to morbidity, mortality, and short-term outcome and found that this procedure is safe and feasible for pulmonary resection. This minimally invasive approach may allow patients to benefit from lobectomy with shorter recovery times and hospital stays compared with conventional open thoracotomy.
Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy provides a minimally invasive alternative for management of early stage non-small cell lung cancer, but is still only performed in a few specialized centers around the world. Questions about the safety of the surgery and its adequacy as a cancer operation remain hurdles for many surgeons.
We performed a systematic review of the literature on VATS lobectomy to assess these questions. The MEDLINE database was queried and the papers analyzed.
Four randomized control trials, 11 case-control series, and 10 case series were reviewed. A variety of VATS techniques are used, making generalization of results difficult. The weight of this evidence suggests that VATS lobectomy can be safely performed and is an adequate cancer operation for early stage non-small cell lung cancer. There is also evidence that patients experience less pain with VATS, but that length of hospital stay is similar.
In expert hands, VATS lobectomy appears to be a safe procedure. However, the published evidence is thin and ongoing study is required, preferably with standardization of VATS techniques.
VATS; Lobectomy; Minimally invasive surgery; Lung cancer
Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy has been performed with increasing frequency over the last decade. However, there is still controversy as to its indications, safety, and feasibility. Especially regarding lung cancer surgery, it is not certain whether it can reduce local recurrences and improve overall survival.
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed 1,067 cases of VATS lobectomy performed between 2003 and 2009, including the indications, postoperative morbidity, mortality, recurrence, and survival rate.
One thousand and sixty seven patients underwent VATS lobectomy for the following indications: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (n=832), carcinoid tumors (n=12), metastatic lung cancer (n=48), and benign or other diseases (n=175). There were 63 cases (5.9%) of conversion to open thoracotomy during VATS lobectomy. One hundred thirty one (15.7%) of the 832 NSCLC patients experienced pathologic upstaging postoperatively. The hospital mortality rate was 0.84% (9 patients), and all of them died of acute respiratory distress syndrome. One hundred forty-nine patients (14.0%) experienced postoperative complications. The median follow-up was 22.9 months for patients with NSCLC. During follow-up, 120 patients had a recurrence and 55 patients died. For patients with pathologic stage I, the overall survival rate and disease-free survival rate at 3 years was 92.2±1.5% and 86.2±1.9%, respectively. For patients with pathologic stage II disease, the overall survival rate and disease-free survival rate at 3 years was 79.2±6.5% and 61.9±6.6%, respectively.
Our results suggest that VATS lobectomy is a technically feasible and safe operation, which can be applied to various lung diseases. In patients with early-stage lung cancer, excellent survival can be also achieved.
Video-assisted thoracic surgery; Lobectomy; Lung neoplasm
The present study aimed to evaluate the evidence comparing video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and open lobectomy for the treatment of stage I lung cancer using meta-analytical techniques. A literature search was undertaken until July 2011 to identify comparative studies evaluating survival rates, recurrence rates and complications. Pooled odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated with either the fixed- or random-effects model. These studies included a total of 1,362 patients: 668 treated with VATS and 694 treated with open lobectomy. The overall survival was significantly higher in patients treated with VATS than with open thoracotomy (OR=2.01, 95% CI 1.44–2.78) at 5 years. However, there was no statistically significant difference in 1.3-year overall survival between the VATS and open lobectomy groups (OR=3.21, 95% CI 0.77–13.40; OR=0.91, 95% CI 0.49–1.70). The data did not demonstrate a significant difference in locoregional recurrence (OR=0.58, 95% CI 0.33–1.03) compared to the open lobectomy group, but suggested a reduced systemic recurrence rate (OR=0.52, 95% CI 0.23–0.82) and complications (OR=0.36, 95% CI 0.23–0.57) of VATS. VATS was superior to open lobectomy for the prognosis of stage I lung cancer. However, the findings have to be carefully interpreted due to the lower levels of evidence.
lung cancer; meta-analysis; video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery; open lobectomy; prognosis
This study examined clinical and radiological outcomes following video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) for anterior release and fusion in the correction of pediatric scoliotic deformities.
We undertook a detailed chart and radiographic review to determine the degree of correction and perioperative morbidity and complications, if any, of a sequential group of patients who underwent VATS between 2000 and 2004 at British Columbia's Children's Hospital. We used patients who underwent open thoracotomy immediately before the adoption of the VATS technique at the same hospital to evaluate the relative efficacy of VATS.
There were 19 patients in each group, 17 with idiopathic scoliosis in the VATS group and 16 in the open thoracotomy group. Mean age, weight at surgery and preoperative Cobb angle were similar (p = 1.0, 0.8 and 0.05, respectively). There was no significant difference in operative time per level between the VATS group and the open thoracotomy group (37.2 v. 34.5 min, p = 0.2) or total blood loss (908 v. 823 mL, p = 0.5). There were no major complications encountered in the VATS group. One patient in the open thoracotomy group experienced atelectasis and subsequent lower lobe collapse.
VATS has the potential to decrease postoperative morbidity while still allowing the same degree of correction as traditional open thoracotomies and is a good alternative in the pediatric population.
Adenocarcinomas commonly metastasize to the lungs and can be resected using open thoracotomy or video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS). This study reviews metastatic resections in primary adenocarcinoma patients, using both thoracotomy and VATS. We aim to compare long-term prognoses to test the efficacy and viability of VATS.
A retrospective review of primary adenocarcinoma patients who underwent resection of pulmonary metastases from 1990 to 2006 was carried out. Information was obtained by chart review. Endpoints analyzed were disease-free interval (DFI), survival time, and recurrence-free survival (RFS).
In a total of 42 (16 male, 26 female; median age 58.5 years) primary adenocarcinoma patients, 21 patients underwent first pulmonary metastatic resection using VATS (7 male, 14 female; median age 57 years) and 21 using thoracotomy (9 male, 12 female; median age 59 years). Primary adenocarcinomas were mainly 27 colorectal (64%) and 11 breast (26%). Two VATS (10%) and three open patients (14%) had local recurrences of the original cancer. Median postoperative follow was 13.3 months [interquartile range (IQR) 4.5–32.8 months] for VATS and 36.9 months (IQR 19.3–48.6 months) after thoracotomy. Median DFI–1 was 22.3 months (IQR 13.5–40.6 months) for VATS patients and 35.6 months (IQR 26.7–61.3 months) for open patients. Second thoracic occurrences were noted in six VATS patients (median DFI–2 9.2 months), and in seven open patients (median DFI-2 21.5 months). Third thoracic occurrences were noted in one VATS patient (DFI-3 18.7 months) and in one thoracotomy patient (DFI-3 21.8 months). Odds ratio of recurrence showed 12.5% less chance of developing recurrence in VATS patients. Five-year RFS was 53% in VATS and 57% in thoracotomy patients.
VATS has become a viable alternative to open thoracotomy for resection of pulmonary metastases. In cases of primary adenocarcinoma, VATS showed no increase in number of thoracic recurrences, and comparable RFS. Short-term follow-up is encouraging; long-term follow-up will be needed to confirm these results.
VATS; Adenocarcinoma; Thoracotomy; Pulmonary metastases; Thoracoscopy; Cancer
Minimally invasive video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy has proved to be equal and in some aspects superior to open lobectomy in T1 and T2 lung cancers. Indications for VATS pneumonectomy however are still not clearly defined and strictly limited. The minimally invasive VATS pneumonectomy can be undertaken in patients with centrally located tumors without extended invasion of the large pulmonary vessels, chest wall, pericardium, mediastinal structures or proximal part of the main bronchus and when sleeve resection is not feasible (T2). We present a case of a patient who underwent left VATS pneumonectomy due to left lung cancer. Based on the preoperative examinations any kind of less extensive resection than pneumonectomy was excluded. Our VATS technique consisted of three incisions: two ports and a 5-6 cm long utility incision without any kind of rib spreading. The whole of the procedure was controlled on the monitor via a thoracoscope and the technique of resection was described in detail. Total surgery time was 130 min and blood loss was 150 ml. The chest tube was removed on the 2nd post-operative day and the patient was discharged home on the 8th postoperative day. The final histopathological examination confirmed squamous cell lung cancer (T2aN0M0 stage IB). In the authors’ opinion VATS pneumonectomy should be performed only in centers with extensive experience in minimally invasive VATS lobectomy. Despite limited indications for VATS pneumonectomy, if the patients fulfill the VATS pneumonectomy inclusion criteria they may gain from all the advantages of minimally invasive techniques.
video-assisted thoracic surgery; pneumonectomy; lung cancer
This prospective randomized study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of two common analgesic techniques, thoracic epidural patient-controlled analgesia (Epidural PCA), and intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (IV PCA), in patients undergoing lobectomy by the video-assisted thoracic surgical (VATS) approach. Fifty-two patients scheduled for VATS lobectomy were randomly allocated into two groups: an Epidural PCA group receiving an epidural infusion of ropivacaine 0.2%+fentanyl 5 µg/mL combination at a rate of 4 mL/hr, and an IV PCA group receiving an intravenous infusion of ketorolac 0.2 mg/kg+fentanyl 15 µg/mL combination at a rate of 1 mL/hr. Pain scores were then recorded using the visual analogue scale at rest and during motion (VAS-R and VAS-M, 0-10) for five days following surgery. In addition, we measured the daily morphine consumption, forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), satisfaction score, and the incidence of side effects. Thirty-seven patients out of 52 completed the study (18 in the Epidural PCA group, 19 in the IV PCA group). There were no differences in the pain scores, analgesic requirements, pulmonary function, satisfaction score, and the incidence of side effects between groups. This indicates that IV PCA and Epidural PCA are equally effective to control the postoperative pain after VATS lobectomy, which suggests that IV PCA may be used instead of Epidural PCA.
Analgesia, Patient-Controlled; Pain Measurement; Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted
Lobectomy is considered the standard treatment for early-stage non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); however, more limited resections are commonly performed. We examined patient and surgeon factors associated with limited resection and compared postoperative and long-term outcomes between sublobar and lobar resections.
A population- and health system–based sample of patients newly diagnosed with stage I or II NSCLC between 2003 and 2005 in five geographically defined regions, five integrated health-care delivery systems, and 15 Veterans Affairs hospitals was observed for a median of 55 months, through May 31, 2010. Predictors of limited resection and postoperative outcomes were compared using unadjusted and propensity score–weighted analyses. All P values are from two-sided tests.
One hundred fifty-five (23%) patients underwent limited resection and 524 (77%) underwent lobectomy. In adjusted analyses of patient-specific factors, smaller tumor size (P = .004), coverage by Medicare or Medicaid, no insurance or unknown insurance (P = .02), more severe lung disease (P < .001), and a history of stroke (P = .049) were associated with receipt of limited resection. In adjusted analyses of surgeon characteristics, thoracic surgery specialty (P = .02), non–fee-for-service compensation (P = .008), and National Cancer Institute cancer center designation (P = .006) were associated with higher odds of limited resection. Unadjusted 30-day mortality was higher with limited resection than with lobectomy (7.1% vs 1.9%, difference = 5.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.5% to 10.8%, P = .003), and the adjusted difference was not statistically significant (6.5% vs 2.9%, difference = 3.6%, 95% CI = −.1% to 9.2%, P = .09). Postoperative complications did not differ by type of surgery (all P > .05). Over the course of the study, a non-statistically significant trend toward improved long-term survival was evident for lobectomy, compared with limited resection, in adjusted analyses (hazard ratio of death = 1.35 for limited resection, 95% CI = 0.99 to 1.84, P = .05).
Evidence is statistically inconclusive but suggestive that lobectomy, compared with limited resection, is associated with increased long-term survival for early-stage lung cancer. Clinical, socioeconomic, and surgeon factors appear to be associated with the choice of surgical resection.
The application of video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) in major pulmonary resections is still far from routine in most hospitals, even though the safety and technical feasibility of the procedure have by now been amply demonstrated. This paper reports on the surgical technique used by the authors for VATS lobectomy, on their experience of the procedure and on the results obtained.
A retrospective study was performed of all patients undergoing VATS lobectomy at the our Thoracic Surgery Department ,between 1993 and 2009.The clinical records of all patients were reviewed, and the following variables were noted for purposes of analysis: patient age and sex; clinical diagnosis; staging; date of surgery; type of surgery; conversion to conventional surgery and grounds for conversion; duration of surgery; intraoperative, postoperative and long-term complications; postoperative stay, final diagnosis and staging; and death rates.
A total of 349 VATS lobectomies were performed over the study period (292 men, 57 women; mean age 59.7) The aetiology was non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) in 313 patients and benign processes in 26;four patients had carcinoid tumours, and a further six required lobectomy due to metastases. The overall conversion rate was 9.4%. Mean duration of lobectomy was 148 minutes, and median duration 92 minutes. Mean postoperative was 3.9 days. The morbidity rate was 12.89 %, mostly involving minor complications. Perioperative mortality was 1.43%. There were no intraoperative deaths. The overall five-year survival rate for patients with NSCLC was 80.1%.
VATS lobectomy is a safe and technically-viable procedure that meets oncological criteria for lung-cancer surgery. Major pulmonary resection using VATS should be considered the procedure of choice for a number of benign processes and for early-stage bronchogenic carcinoma (T1-T2 N0 M0).
Video-assisted thoracic surgery; VATS; lung cancer; thoracoscopy; minimally invasive surgical procedures; lobectomy
We analysed the results of radical segmentectomy achieved through a hybrid video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) approach that used both direct vision and television monitor visualization at a median follow-up of over 5 years. Between April 2004 and October 2010, 102 consecutive patients able to tolerate lobectomy to treat clinical T1N0M0 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) underwent hybrid VATS segmentectomy in which we used electrocautery without a stapler to divide the intersegmental plane detected by selective jet ventilation in addition to the path of the intersegmental veins. Curative resection was achieved in all patients. The median surgical duration and blood loss during the surgery were 129 min (range, 60–275 min) and 50 ml (range, 10–350 ml), respectively. The complication rate was 9.8% (10/102) with the most frequent being prolonged air leak, and there was no case of in-hospital death or 30-day mortality post procedure. Five and seven patients developed locoregional and distant recurrences, respectively. The overall and disease-free 5-year survival rates were 89.8% and 84.7%, respectively. Radical hybrid VATS segmentectomy including atypical resection of (sub)segments is a useful option for clinical stage-I NSCLC. The exact identification of anatomical intersegmental plane followed by dissection using electrocautery is critical from oncological and functional perspectives.
Segmentectomy; Lung cancer; Video-assisted thoracic surgery; Sublobar resection
Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) predict respiratory complications and mortality after lung resection via thoracotomy. We sought to determine the impact of PFTs upon complications after thoracoscopic lobectomy.
A model for morbidity including published preoperative risk factors and surgical approach was developed by multivariable logistic regression. All patients who underwent lobectomy for primary lung cancer between December, 1999 and October, 2007 with preoperative forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) or diffusion capacity to carbon monoxide (DLCO) ≤ 60% predicted were reviewed. Preoperative, histopathologic, perioperative, and outcome variables were assessed using standard descriptive statistics. Pulmonary complications were defined as atelectasis requiring bronchoscopy, pneumonia, reintubation, and tracheostomy.
During the study period, 340 patients (median age 67) with DLCO or FEV1 ≤ 60% (mean % predicted FEV1 55±1, mean % predicted DLCO 61±1) underwent lobectomy (173 thoracoscopy, 167 thoracotomy). Operative mortality was 5% (17 patients) and overall morbidity was 48% (164 patients). At least one pulmonary complication occurred in 57 patients (17%). Significant predictors of pulmonary complications by multivariable analysis for all patients included DLCO (odds ratio 1.03, p=0.003), FEV1 (odds ratio 1.04, p=0.003) and thoracotomy as surgical approach (odds ratio 3.46,p=0.0007). When patients were analyzed according to operative approach, DLCO and FEV1 remained significant predictors of pulmonary morbidity for patients undergoing thoracotomy but not thoracoscopy.
In patients with impaired pulmonary function, preoperative pulmonary function tests are predictors of pulmonary complications when lobectomy for lung cancer is performed via thoracotomy but not via thoracoscopy.
Lobectomy; Lung Cancer Surgery; Thoracoscopy; Outcomes
Intralobar pulmonary sequestration is a rare congenital abnormality of the lower respiratory system, which becomes symptomatic early in life. Standard treatment consists of wedge resection or lobectomy through a thoracotomy.
We report on an unusual case of a 36-year-old female patient with intralobar pulmonary sequestration on the right lower lobe, which was treated with video-assisted thoracic surgery. The case is presented along with literature review.
VATS wedge resection is a great alternative to the traditional thoracotomy for the treatment of intralobar pulmonary sequestrations.
BACKGROUND--This report describes a preliminary experience with six patients undergoing video imaged thoracoscopic pulmonary lobectomy. METHODS--Three left upper lobectomies, and one each of right upper, right lower and left lower lobectomy were undertaken. The resections were performed as orthodox dissectional lobectomy procedures but were carried out under videothoracoscopic imaging with instruments introduced through two stab incisions. The entire resected lobe was delivered through a 7 cm submammary intercostal incision. RESULTS--There were no operative deaths or complications attributable to the technique. In three other patients conversion to an open thoracotomy was required because of bleeding (two cases) or obscure anatomy (one case). Post-operative pain in those undergoing thoracoscopic resection was less than that encountered with standard thoracotomy and early clinic review showed the patients to be pain free with excellent shoulder movement. CONCLUSIONS--Major pulmonary resection according to standard cancer practices is feasible with videothoracoscopic techniques. This approach is likely to offer considerable functional benefit to patients. Specimen delivery through the submammary incision imposes a 5 cm primary lesion size limitation. Detailed mediastinal assessment is necessary to exclude N2 status before undertaking thoracoscopic surgery.
The feasibility of anatomical lobectomy in patients with bronchial carcinoma in an area of severe heterogeneous emphysema whose respiratory reserve is outside operability guidelines has previously been confirmed. A review was undertaken to determine whether this approach is justified by long‐term survival.
A single surgeon's 8 year experience of 118 consecutive patients (74 men) of median age 70 years (range 45–84) who underwent upper lobectomy for pathological stage I non‐small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was reviewed. The preoperative characteristics, perioperative course and survival of the 27 cases with severe heterogeneous emphysema of apical distribution and a predicted postoperative forced expiratory volume in 1 s (ppoFEV1) of <40% (lobarLVRS group) were compared with the remaining 91 cases with a ppoFEV1 of >40% (control group).
Postoperative mortality was 1 of 27 in the lobarLVRS group and 2 of 91 in the control group (p = NS). Five‐year survival in the lobarLVRS group was 35% compared with 65% in the control group without concomitant severe emphysema (p = 0.001), although rates of tumour recurrence were similar.
Long‐term survival after lobarLVRS for stage I lung cancer is limited by physiological rather than oncological factors. However, outcomes are still better than those reported for any other modality of treatment in this group of high‐risk patients. This finding justifies the decision to offer lobectomy in these selected cases.
Following major lung resection, patients have routinely been monitored in the intensive care unit (ICU). Recently, however, patients are increasingly being placed in a general thoracic ward (GTW). We investigated the safety and efficacy of the GTW care after lobectomy for lung cancer.
Materials and Methods
316 patients who had undergone lobectomy for lung cancer were reviewed. These patients were divided into two groups: 275 patients were cared for in the ICU while 41 patients were care for in the GTW immediately post-operation. After propensity score matching, postoperative complications and hospital costs were analyzed. Risk factors for early complications were analyzed with the whole cohort.
Early complications (until the end of the first postoperative day) occurred in 11 (3.5%) patients. Late complications occurred in 42 patients (13.3%). After propensity score matching, the incidence of early complications, late complications, and mortality were not different between the two groups. The mean expense was higher in the ICU group. Risk factors for early complications were cardiac comorbidities and low expected forced expiratory volume in one second. The location of postoperative care had no influence on outcome.
Immediate postoperative care after lobectomy for lung cancer in a GTW was safe and cost-effective without compromising outcomes in low-risk patients.
Postoperative care; Lobectomy
A da Vinci Robotic Surgical System was purchased for The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano in fall 2011 and a program for robotic-assisted thoracic surgery commenced at the facility. Successive thoracic patients were offered and accepted a robotic-assisted operation. No patient was excluded because of age, height, weight, or comorbidities. The first 20 patients are summarized herein. Of the first 10 operations, only one was a lobectomy. As the program staff gained experience, seven of the latter 10 procedures were lobectomies. The average length of stay was 2.6 days (longest, 4 days). The average operating room time was 147 minutes overall and 200 minutes for lobectomies. The longest operating room time was 337 minutes in a patient who underwent a right middle lobectomy that was converted to a video-assisted thoracic surgery. Two patients developed atrial fibrillation, one of whom had a pacemaker and a history of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. One patient developed a bronchopleural fistula on the first postoperative day, following a coughing episode. One patient was readmitted 6 days after hospital discharge with a pneumothorax, which was successfully treated with a small-bore catheter. In conclusion, robotic-assisted thoracic surgery has many advantages. Decreased complications can lead to improved outcomes, and hospitals can achieve cost savings as a result of reduced length of stay.
The propensity score is the probability of treatment assignment conditional on observed baseline characteristics. The propensity score allows one to design and analyze an observational (nonrandomized) study so that it mimics some of the particular characteristics of a randomized controlled trial. In particular, the propensity score is a balancing score: conditional on the propensity score, the distribution of observed baseline covariates will be similar between treated and untreated subjects. I describe 4 different propensity score methods: matching on the propensity score, stratification on the propensity score, inverse probability of treatment weighting using the propensity score, and covariate adjustment using the propensity score. I describe balance diagnostics for examining whether the propensity score model has been adequately specified. Furthermore, I discuss differences between regression-based methods and propensity score-based methods for the analysis of observational data. I describe different causal average treatment effects and their relationship with propensity score analyses.
The role of video-assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) is still being defined in the management of thoracic trauma. We report our trauma cases managed by VATS and review the role of VATS in the management of thoracic trauma.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
All the trauma patients who underwent VATS from 2000 to 2007 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center were retrospectively studied.
Twenty-three trauma patients underwent 25 cases of VATS. The most common indication for VATS was retained haemothorax. Thoracotomy was avoided in 21 patients. VATS failed in two cases. On an average VATS was performed on trauma day seven (range 1-26) and the length of hospital stay was 20 days (range 3-58). There was no mortality. VATS was performed in an emergency (day 1-2), or in the early (day 2-7) or late (after day 7) phases of trauma.
VATS can be performed safely for the management of thoracic traumas. VATS can be performed before or after thoracotomy and at any stage of trauma. The use of VATS in trauma has a trimodal distribution (emergent, early, late), each with different indications.
Thoracotomy; trauma; video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery