Background: Data regarding pulmonary function and prognosis after video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy are limited.
Methods: From September 1992 to April 2000, 204 video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomies were performed, and their preoperative and postoperative pulmonary function test results and prognoses were evaluated.
Results: The postoperative to preoperative ratio of pulmonary function tests (vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1 s) were better in video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy than in open thoracotomy (p < 0.0001). Furthermore, the 5-year survival rate of pathologic stage I lung cancers after video-assisted thoracic surgery was 97.0%, whereas that after open thoracotomy was 78.5% (p = 0.0173; Mantel-Cox).
Conclusions: Pulmonary function and prognosis were far better after video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy than after open thoracotomy.