Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery node dissection for lung cancer treatment

Surg Today. 2017 Dec;47(12):1419-1428. doi: 10.1007/s00595-017-1494-x. Epub 2017 Mar 11.


Purpose: Mediastinal node dissection (MND) is an integral component of the surgical treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has been used increasingly for lung cancer treatment, the accuracy of by VATS MND still remains controversial. We reviewed the surgical results of VATS MND for NSCLC.

Methods: A systematic review of literature was performed, and articles that fully described the surgical procedure, devices, and results of VATS MND were selected to compare the efficacy of MND by VATS and thoracotomy.

Results: Various techniques and equipments have been shown to perform adequate MND, but there is an argument as to the method of estimation of the accuracy of MND. Most of the recent studies showed that the nodal upstaging and number of dissected nodes are significantly lower by VATS than after thoracotomy. Oppositely, some studies showed VATS noninferiority in these issues. Complications such as chylothorax, pleural effusion, bleeding, and nerve damage were similar in both groups.

Conclusions: Although ND by VATS remains controversial, VATS MND is becoming easier and more feasible owing to the development of more advanced endoscopic cameras and equipments. We should learn further to become more adept at performing adequate ND by VATS.

Keywords: Lung cancer; Node dissection; Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Lymph Node Excision / methods*
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / surgery
  • Mediastinum / pathology
  • Mediastinum / surgery
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / methods*