Nonintubated Videothoracoscopic Operations in Thoracic Oncology

Mineo, Tommaso C.; Tacconi, Federico
January 2014
Jurnalul de Chirurgie;2014, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p22
Academic Journal
Background: Despite general anesthesia with one-lung ventilation represents the standard to perform thoracic surgery operations, there is an increasing interest toward alternative methods, such as the use of local or neuroaxial analgesia alone in fully alert or mildly sedated patients. These can be applied to perform a series of videothoracoscopic procedures. Material and Methods: We reviewed our own institutional experience with this kind of surgery, as well as the most relevant literature findings available on this topic at the usual search websites (PubMed, Scopus, EMBASE). We focused on more recent advances regarding indications, expected advantages, possible pitfalls and implications for future research. Results: Such an operative modality can be safely and successfully adopted to manage a series of common malignant and non-malignant diseases. In thoracic oncology, it is mainly employed to treat malignant pleural effusion, to remove of pulmonary lesions of any origin, and to perform mediastinal biopsies. Furthermore, even complex procedures such anatomic lung resections and thymectomy are now being performed in this way. When taking into the account just intermediate to major surgeries, reported conversion rates to general anesthesia range between 2.8 and 9%. Despite the lack of randomized controlled trial, there is a general perception that non-intubated videothoracoscopic operation may translate into a lower morbidity rate, better hematosis, and preserved perioperative immunosurveillance. No sufficient data is available as far as long-term outcomes are concerned. Conclusions: Non-intubated videthoracoscopic operations may be as effective as the equivalent procedures performed with general anesthesia, while providing advantages in terms of cost and postoperative morbidity. This surgical practice should thus be included in the armamentarium of modern era thoracic surgeons, and appropriately designed studies should be undertaken to better define its merits and limitations.


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