Pain, Quality of Life, and Clinical Outcomes after Robotic Lobectomy

Valerie Lacroix, Zahra Mosala Nezhad, David Kahn, Arnaud Steyaert, Alain Poncelet, Thierry Pieters, Philippe Noirhomme
Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon 2017, 65 (5): 344-350
Background To evaluate pulmonary function, pain, and quality of life at midterm after robotic lobectomy performed in a single institution. Methods Sixty-five consecutive patients underwent robotic thoracic surgery over 32 months using a complete four-arm portal technique. Sixty-one patients underwent lobectomies predominantly for stage I non-small cell lung cancer. Pulmonary function tests were repeated at midterm follow-up. Pain and quality of life were evaluated during the follow-up on a subgroup of 39 patients, excluding the learning period. Results At a mean of 7-month follow-up, there was no significant difference in preoperative and midterm postoperative pulmonary function. A total of 62.5% of the patients reported a variable intensity of discomfort or pain at the surgical site, with a mean pain intensity score of 2.1 ± 1.4. Mean pain interference score were weak (1.8 ± 1.9), with patients with moderate pain reporting significantly higher pain interference scores than those with mild pain (p = 0.0025). Only one patient suffered from neuropathic-like pain. Quality of life was globally favorable and related to the pain level, with a significant interference on the physical component. Conclusion Robotic lobectomy does not appear to have an impact on midterm pulmonary function. Persistent postoperative pain is mild, nonneuropathic-like, with weak interference on daily activities. Quality of life is satisfactory but related to the pain level.

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