Learning curve in robotic-assisted lobectomy for non-small cell lung cancer is not steep after experience in video-assisted lobectomy; single-surgeon experience using cumulative sum analysis

Saana E-M Andersson, Ilkka K Ilonen, Otto H Pälli, Jarmo A Salo, Jari V Räsänen
Cancer Treatment and Research Communications 2021 April 2, 27: 100362

BACKGROUND: Robotic assistance in lung lobectomy has been suggested to enhance the adoption of minimally invasive techniques among surgeons. However, little is known of learning curves in different minimally invasive techniques. We studied learning curves in robotic-assisted versus video- assisted lobectomies for lung cancer.

METHODS: A single surgeon performed his first 75 video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomies from April 2007 to November 2012, and his 75 first robotic-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) lobectomies between August 2011 and May 2018. A retrospective chart review was done. Cumulative sum (CUSUM) analysis was used to identify the learning curve.

RESULTS: No operative deaths occurred for VATS patients or RATS patients. Conversion-to-open rate was significantly lower in the RATS group (2.7% vs. 13.3%, p = 0.016). Meanwhile, 90-day mortality (1.3% vs. 5.3%, p = 0.172), postoperative complications (24% vs. 24%, p = 0.999), re- operation rates (4% vs. 5.3%, p = 0.688), operation time (170±56 min vs. 178±66 min, p = 0.663) and length of stay (8.9 ± 7.9 days vs. 8.2 ± 5.8 days, p = 0.844) were similar between the two groups. Based on CUSUM analysis, learning curves were similar for both procedures, although slightly shorter for RATS (proficiency obtained with 53 VATS cases vs. 45 RATS cases, p = 0.198).

CONCLUSIONS: Robotic-assisted thoracoscopic lung lobectomy can be implemented safely and efficiently in an expert center with earlier experience in VATS lobectomies. However, there seems to be a learning curve of its own despite the surgeon's previous experience in conventional thoracoscopic surgery.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"