Functional advantage after radical segmentectomy versus lobectomy for lung cancer

Ann Thorac Surg. 2005 Dec;80(6):2041-5. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2005.06.010.


Background: Although several reports have recently demonstrated that segmentectomy for small-sized N0 lung cancer leads to recurrence and survival rates equivalent to those associated with lobectomy, controversy regarding the postoperative functional advantage in the former over the latter still persists. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the degree of postoperative functional loss in patients undergoing segmentectomy or lobectomy for lung cancer.

Methods: We analyzed patients able to tolerate lobectomy, who underwent radical segmentectomy (n = 38) or lobectomy (n = 45) for non-small-cell lung cancer. Functional testing included forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 second, and anaerobic threshold measured preoperatively and at 2 and 6 months after surgery.

Results: Preoperative function tests showed no differences between segmentectomy and lobectomy patients. A positive and significant correlation was found between the number of resected segments versus loss of forced vital capacity (r = 0.518, p < 0.0001 at 2 months; r = 0.604, p < 0.0001 at 6 months) and loss of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (r = 0.492, p < 0.0001 at 2 months; r = 0.512, p < 0.0001 at 6 months). The postoperative reduction of forced vital capacity (p = 0.0006) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (p = 0.0007) was significantly less in the segmentectomy group; however, a marginally significant benefit was observed in this group for anaerobic threshold (p = 0.0616).

Conclusions: The extent of removed lung parenchyma directly affected that of postoperative functional loss even at 6 months after surgery, and segmentectomy offered significantly better functional preservation compared with lobectomy. These results indicate the importance of segmentectomy for early staged lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / rehabilitation
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / rehabilitation
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy / methods*
  • Recovery of Function