Initial single-port thoracoscopy to reduce surgical trauma during open en bloc chest wall and pulmonary resection for locally invasive cancer

Clara I Bayarri, Antonio Cueto Ladron de Guevara, Antonio E Martin-Ucar
Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 2013, 17 (1): 32-5

OBJECTIVES: En bloc pulmonary and chest wall resection is the preferred method of treatment for locally invasive lung carcinoma. However, it carries major trauma to the chest wall, especially in cases with chest wall involvement distant to the potential location of 'traditional' thoracotomies. We describe an alternative method of estimating the boundaries of chest wall resection employing video assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and hypodermic needles.

METHODS: VATS delineation of boundaries of chest wall involvement by lung cancer has been performed in six patients who gave written consent. In one case the single-port thoracoscopic examination revealed unexpected distant pleural metastases thus preventing from resection. The other 5 patients, three males and two females [median age of 60.5 (range 39 to 75) years] underwent en bloc anatomical lung resection in addition to chest wall excision and reconstruction for T3N0 lung cancer.

RESULTS: In these five cases the chest wall opening was restricted to the extent of the rib excision, and the pulmonary resection was performed via the existing chest wall opening without requiring extension of the thoracotomy or any rib spreading.

DISCUSSION: Minimally invasive techniques aid to delineate the boundaries of chest wall involvement of lung cancer and intraoperative staging. This helped tailoring the surgical approach and location of the thoracotomy, and prevented rib-spreading or additional thoracotomies in our cases.

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