Background: Sleeve lobectomy is a parenchyma-sparing procedure that is particularly valuable in patients with cardiac or pulmonary contraindications to pneumonectomy. The purpose of this study is to report our experience with sleeve lobectomy for bronchogenic cancer and to investigate factors associated with long-term survival.
Methods: Between January 1981 and June 2001, 169 patients underwent sleeve lobectomy for non-small-cell lung cancer (n = 139) or carcinoid tumor (n = 30), including 61 with a preoperative contraindication to pneumonectomy. Mean age was 59 +/- 14 years (range, 19 to 82 years). Vascular sleeve resection was performed in 11 patients. The remaining bronchial stump contained microscopic disease in 7 patients.
Results: Major bronchial anastomotic complications occurred in 6 (3.6%) patients: one was fatal postoperatively, three required reoperation, and two were managed conservatively. In the non-small-cell lung cancer group, operative mortality was 2.9% (4 of 139), and overall 5-year and 10-year survival rates were 52% and 28%, respectively. Six patients experienced local recurrence after complete resection. By multivariate analysis, two factors significantly and independently influenced survival: nodal status (N0 or N1 versus N2; p = 0.01) and microscopic invasion of the bronchial stump (p = 0.02). In the carcinoid tumor group, there were no operative deaths, and overall 5-year and 10-year survival rates were 100% and 92%, respectively.
Conclusions: Sleeve lobectomy achieves local tumor control and is associated with low mortality and bronchial anastomotic complication rates. Long-term survival is excellent for carcinoid tumors. For patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, N2 disease or incomplete resection is associated with a worse prognosis; outcome is not affected by presence of a preoperative contraindication to pneumonectomy.