Objective: Certain patients with resectable lung cancer and severe respiratory limitation due to emphysema may have a suitable operative risk by combining cancer resection with lung volume reduction surgery. The purpose of this study is to review our experience with such patients.
Methods: A review was conducted on 21 patients with lung cancer in the setting of severe emphysema who underwent an operation designed to provide complete cancer resection and volume reduction effect.
Results: In the 21 patients, the mean preoperative forced expiratory volume in 1 second was 0.7 +/- 0.2 L (29% predicted), residual volume was 5.5 +/- 1.0 L (271%), and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide was 8.0 +/- 2.2 mL/min/mm Hg (34% predicted). In 9 patients, the cancer was located in a severely emphysematous lobe and the lung volume reduction surgery component of the procedure was accomplished with lobectomy alone. In the remaining 12 patients, the cancer resection lobectomy (n = 9) and wedge resection (n = 3) were supplemented with lung volume reduction surgery. Final pathologic staging was stage I in 16 patients, stage II in 2 patients, and stage III in 2 patients. One patient was found to have stage IV disease due to multifocal tumors in separate lobes. There were no hospital deaths. Postoperative complications included prolonged air leak in 11 patients, atrial fibrillation in 6 patients, and reintubation for ventilatory assistance in 2 patients. All patients showed improved lung function postoperatively. Survival was 100% and 62.7% at 1 and 5 years, respectively.
Conclusions: Patients with severe emphysema and resectable lung cancer who have a favorable anatomy for lung volume reduction surgery may undergo a combined cancer resection and lung volume reduction surgery with an acceptable risk and good long-term survival.