Video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy: single institutional experience with 704 cases

Kwhanmien Kim, Hong Kwan Kim, Joon Suk Park, Sung Wook Chang, Yong Soo Choi, Jhingook Kim, Young Mog Shim
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2010, 89 (6): S2118-22

BACKGROUND: During the past decade, video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy has been performed with increasing frequency in patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, questions remain as to whether VATS lobectomy reduces local recurrence and improves long-term survival in patients with NSCLC.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed short-term and midterm outcomes, including postoperative morbidity, mortality, recurrence rate, and survival, in patients undergoing VATS lobectomy.

RESULTS: Between 2003 and 2008, 704 patients underwent VATS lobectomy for the following indications: NSCLC (n = 548), carcinoid tumors (n = 7), pulmonary metastases (n = 22), and benign diseases (n = 127). One hundred eleven of 548 clinical stage I NSCLC patients (20.3%) experienced pathologic upstaging postoperatively. There were 9 in-hospital deaths (1.3%); all of these patients died of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Sixty-four patients experienced postoperative complications (9.1%). The median follow-up was 20 months for patients with NSCLC. During follow-up, 54 patients had a recurrence, and 13 patients died. Disease-free survival for patients with pathologic stage I disease was 92.7% at 1 year and 87.6% at 3 years. For patients with pathologic N1 (n = 55) and N2 diseases (n = 41), disease-free survival at 3 years was 79.3% and 57.1%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy is a technically feasible and safe operation with excellent survival for early-stage lung cancer. For patients with pathologic N1 or N2 diseases after VATS lobectomy, survival was not compromised by this minimally invasive approach.

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