Sleeve resections with unprotected bronchial anastomoses are safe even after neoadjuvant therapy†

Storelli, Erica; Tutic, Michaela; Kestenholz, Peter; Schneiter, Didier; Opitz, Isabelle; Hillinger, Sven; Weder, Walter
July 2012
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Jul2012, Vol. 42 Issue 1, p77
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVES Sleeve resection is the operation of choice in patients with centrally located tumours, in order to avoid a pneumonectomy. Most surgeons protect the bronchial anastomoses with tissue to prevent insufficiencies. The purpose of this study is to report on outcome of unwrapped bronchial anastomoses, especially after neoadjuvant chemo- or chemoradiotherapy. METHODS Between 2000 and 2010, 103 patients [59 years (range 16–80), 40 females] underwent bronchial sleeve resections without coverage of the anastomosis with a tissue flap. We retrospectively reviewed the data for morbidity, mortality and survival, especially with regard to the type of resection, neoadjuvant therapy and stage. RESULTS Sleeve lobectomy was performed in 88, sleeve bilobectomy in 8, sleeve pneumonectomy in 4 and sleeve resection of the main bronchus in 3 patients. Twenty-seven patients had a combined vascular sleeve resection. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy was performed in 20 and radiochemotherapy in 5 patients. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was present in 76 patients (squamous cell carcinoma in 44, adenocarcinoma in 24, large cell carcinoma in 6 and mixed cell in 2) and neuroendocrine tumour in 20 and other histological types in 7 patients. The pathologic tumour stage in NSCLC was stage I in 26, stage II in 26, stage IIIA in 16, stage IIIB in 7 and stage IV in 1 patient. There were no anastomotic complications, especially no fistulas. One patient developed narrowing of the intermediate bronchus without need for intervention. Twenty-four patients had early postoperative complications, including 11 surgery-related complications (air leakage, nerve injury, haemothorax or mediastinal emphysema). The 30-day mortality was 3% (one patient died due to heart failure and two with multiorgan failure). The 5-year survival rate was 63% in NSCLC patients and 86% in neuroendocrine tumour patients. CONCLUSIONS Sleeve resection without wrapping the bronchial anastomoses with a tissue flap is safe even in patients who underwent neoadjuvant chemo- or chemoradiotherapy. Therefore, wrapping of the bronchial anastomoses is not routinely mandatory.


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