Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery Resection and Reconstruction of Carina and Trachea for Malignant or Benign Disease in 12 Patients: Three Centers' Experience in China

Ann Thorac Surg. 2016 Jul;102(1):295-303. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.01.080. Epub 2016 Apr 23.


Background: Although video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has been widely applied to both peripheral and central lung cancer treatment in many centers, there is great hesitation to adopt it for carinal or tracheal surgical procedures. The aims of this study were to explore the feasibility of VATS in the treatment of benign and malignant diseases involving the carina and trachea and to highlight relevant techniques.

Methods: Patients undergoing VATS carinal or tracheal procedures between May 2012 and July 2015 from three centers in China were included in this study. Their clinical characteristics, operative details, and postoperative course were analyzed.

Results: Twelve patients underwent five different types of VATS airway reconstructions with or without lobectomy: including right bronchial resection with partial carinal reconstruction (3 patients), tracheal resection and reconstruction (4 patients), tracheal or right bronchial resection with carinal reconstruction (3 patients), left bronchial resection with carinal reconstruction (1 patient), and right pneumonectomy with carinal reconstruction (1 patient). Complete resection was achieved in all patients. The mean operative time was 224 ± 78 minutes, and the median time of the first anastomosis was 41 minutes (range, 15 to 60 minutes), regardless of whether the reconstruction was a tracheal or carinal. The median estimated blood loss was 100 mL (range 10 to 1000 mL). The mean postoperative hospital stay was 12.5 ± 2.5 days. There was no perioperative mortality or major morbidity. Median duration of follow-up was 12 months (range 5 to 43 months).

Conclusions: VATS resection and reconstruction of the carina or trachea are feasible, and these procedures can be safely performed using the techniques described. We believe, with the accumulation of VATS experience, these procedures could be adopted as routine approaches in tracheal surgery.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung / surgery*
  • Lung Diseases / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods*
  • Pneumonectomy / methods*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Trachea / diagnostic imaging
  • Trachea / surgery*
  • Tracheal Diseases / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome