The two-incision approach for video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy: an initial experience

Borro, Jose Maria; Gonzalez, Diego; Paradela, Marina; de la Torre, Mercedes; Fernandez, Ricardo; Delgado, Maria; Garcia, Jose; Fieira, Eva
January 2011
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Jan2011, Vol. 39 Issue 1, p120
Academic Journal
Abstract: Objective: The video-assisted thoracoscopic approach (video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)) to lobectomy for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is not standardised. Although three to four incisions are usually made, with the right surgical technique, the operation can be successfully carried out using only two incisions. We have analysed retrospectively, the characteristics and postoperative evolution of patients undergoing VATS lobectomies using two ports. Methods: From June 2007 to November 2009, we carried out 131 major pulmonary resections by VATS, of which 40 (February 2009 to November 2009) were realised using only two incisions: one 1-cm incision through the 7th/8th intercostal space in the mid-axillary line, and a 3–5-cm anterior utility incision in the 5th intercostal space. The patients’ mean age was 60.8±11.4 years (75% male, 25% female). Results: The conversion rate was 10% (four patients). Of the remaining 36 cases, the diagnosis in six patients was benign, and in four was metastatic disease. Of the 26 cases with NSCLC, the most frequent stage was that of interactive application (IA) (58%) and histology mostly revealed adenocarcinoma (33%). Mean duration of surgery in the 36 resections completed by VATS was 168.6±54.0min (range 80–300min). The median chest tube duration was 2.5 days and the median length of stay in hospital was 3 days. There was no perioperative mortality in completed VATS cases, and no patient needed to be re-operated. Those patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) needed longer hospital stays (p =0.046). Similarly, extreme cases of adhesion during surgery needed more days of thoracic drainage (p =0.040) and longer hospital stays (p =0.011), as well as displaying a higher percentage of postoperative complications (p =0.008). If the group of patients is divided in two periods (February to July 2009 and August to November 2009), more extended lymphadenectomies are observed among those performed during the latter period. Conclusions: VATS lobectomy with two incisions is a safe and reliable procedure producing good postoperative results. As we obtain more experience over time, results improve, especially in the performance of more extended lymphadenectomies.


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