COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Thoracoscopic segmentectomy compares favorably with thoracoscopic lobectomy for patients with small stage I lung cancer.

OBJECTIVE: As thoracoscopic lobectomy becomes widely applied for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, thoracoscopic segmentectomy remains controversial for patients with small stage I lung cancers. Questions remain regarding safety, morbidity, mortality, and recurrence rate. This study compared outcomes between thoracoscopic segmentectomy and lobectomy.

METHODS: Retrospective review was undertaken of patients who underwent thoracoscopic segmentectomy or lobectomy for clinical stage I non-small cell lung cancer between January 2002 and February 2008. Indications for segmentectomy were tumor smaller than 3 cm, limited pulmonary reserve, comorbidities, and peripheral tumor location.

RESULTS: Thirty-one patients underwent segmentectomy and 113 underwent lobectomy. Patients after segmentectomy had worse mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second than after lobectomy (83% vs 92%, P = .04). There were no differences in mean number of nodes (10) and nodal stations (5) resected. Segmentectomy and lobectomy groups had similar median chest tube durations (2 vs 3 days, P = .18), stays (both 4 days), total complications, recurrence rates, and survivals at mean follow-ups of 22 and 21 months, respectively. Lobectomy group had 1 30-day death; segmentectomy group had none. There were 5 (17.2%) recurrences after segmentectomy and 23 (20.4%) after lobectomy (P = .71), with locoregional recurrence rates of 3.5% and 3.6%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Thoracoscopic segmentectomy is a safe option for experienced thoracoscopic surgeons treating patients with small stage I lung cancers. No significant difference in oncologic outcome was seen between thoracoscopic segmentectomy and thoracoscopic lobectomy. Lymph node dissection could be performed as effectively during segmentectomy as lobectomy.

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