Evaluation Studies
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Thoracoscopic segmentectomy for congenital and acquired pulmonary disease: a case for lung-sparing surgery.

PURPOSE: Over the last 15 years thoracoscopic lobectomy for congenital and acquired lesions has become an accepted modality in pediatric thoracic surgery. There is still debate about the need to perform a complete lobectomy for some of these lesions, and some advocate observation rather than resection, despite possible long-term complications of untreated lesions. High-resolution computed tomography (CT) scans and physical findings at the time of surgery, along with new advanced techniques, now allow for discrete partial anatomic resections, which may preserve normal lung. This study evaluates the feasibility and early results using these techniques in selected cases.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: With institutional review board approval, the records of all patients undergoing thoracoscopic lung resection were reviewed. From January 2006 to December 2012, 23 patients, ranging from 1 month to 16 years of age and weighing 3.8-42 kg, underwent thoracoscopy for planned resection. Pathology was congenital cystic lung disease in 19 patients, bronchiectasis in 3 patients, and arteriovenous malformation in 1 patient. In each case findings on CT scan and at the time of surgery warranted consideration of lung-preserving surgery. Procedures were performed through three ports using single lung ventilation and CO2 insufflation to achieve lung collapse. The LigaSure™ device (Covidien, Norwalk, CT) was the primary instrument used to seal and divide the lung parenchyma and seal vessels.

RESULTS: All procedures were completed successfully thoracoscopically. An anatomic segmental resection was achieved in 22 of 23 cases. Operative time ranged from 30 to 300 minutes (mean, 120 minutes). Segmental resections included the left upper lobe apical/posterior (n=4), lingula (n=3), left lower lobe superior (n=5), medial or posterior basal (n=3), right middle lobe medial (n=1), right upper lobe apical (n=1), right lower lobe superior (n=4), and posterior basal (n=2). Two patients had more than one segment excised. Chest tubes were left in for 24 hours in 16 cases, 48 hours in 4 cases, and 5 days in 1 case. Hospital stay ranged from 1 to 6 days (mean, 2 days). Follow-up CT scans obtained at 1-6 years (mean, 28 months) show no residual disease in 20 of 21 patients. One patient underwent a nonanatomic resection and had evidence of recurrent congenital pulmonary airway malformation at the 4-year follow-up. This patient underwent a secondary thoracoscopic resection.

CONCLUSIONS: Thoracoscopic lung-conserving therapy is technically feasible and safe in infants and children. The magnification provided by a thoracoscopic approach makes identification of segmental anatomic planes easier, aiding in safe dissection and resection. Anatomic resection appears to be associated with a low morbidity. It may be appropriate in the case of bilateral or extensive disease or in cases where the diseased tissue is clearly limited to an anatomic segment. Continued long-term follow-up is needed.

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