Robotic anatomic segmentectomy of the lung: technical aspects and initial results

Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Sep;94(3):929-34. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.04.086. Epub 2012 Jun 28.


Background: Robotic lobectomy with radical lymph node dissection is a new frontier of minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Series of sublobar anatomic resection for primary initial lung cancers or for metastasis using video-assisted thoracic surgery have been reported but no cases have been so far reported using the robot-assisted approach. We present the technique and surgical outcome of our initial experience.

Methods: Clinical data of patients undergoing robotic lung anatomic segmentectomy were retrospectively reviewed. All cases were done using the DaVinci System. A 3- or 4-incision strategy with a 3-cm utility incision in the anterior fourth or fifth intercostal space was performed. Individual ligation and division of the hilar structures was performed using Hem-o-Lok (Teleflex Medical, Research Triangle Park, NC) or endoscopic staplers. The parenchyma was transected with endovascular staplers introduced by the bedside assistant mainly through the utility incision. Systematic mediastinal lymph node dissection or sampling was performed.

Results: From 2008 to 2010, 17 patients underwent a robot-assisted lung anatomic segmentectomy in two centers. There were 10 women and 7 men with a mean age of 68.2 years (range, 32 to 82). Mean duration of surgery was 189 minutes. There were no major intraoperative complications. Conversion to open procedure was never required. Postoperative morbidity rate was 17.6% with pneumonia in 1 case and prolonged air leaks in 2 patients. Median postoperative stay was 5 days (range, 2 to 14), and postoperative mortality was 0%. Final pathology was non-small cell lung cancer in 8 patient, typical carcinoids in 2, and lung metastases in 7.

Conclusions: Robotic anatomic lung segmentectomy is feasible and safe procedure. Robotic system, by improving ergonomic, surgeon view and precise movements, may make minimally invasive segmentectomy easier to adopt and perform.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Lymph Node Excision / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / mortality
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / physiopathology
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Robotics / methods*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / methods*
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / mortality
  • Treatment Outcome