Prospective, multicenter, international phase 2 trial evaluating ultrasonic energy for pulmonary artery branch sealing in video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019 Sep 30;S0022-5223(19)32065-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.09.061. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: The study objectives were to evaluate the immediate, short-, and medium-term efficacy and safety of pulmonary artery branch sealing using an ultrasonic vessel-sealing device in minimally invasive anatomic lung resection.

Methods: This study consists of a prospective, phase 2, multicenter, international clinical trial ( NCT02719717) that enrolled patients planned for video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery/robotic anatomic lung resection in 7 centers (United States, Canada, United Kingdom). Pulmonary artery branches of 7 mm or less were sealed and divided with an ultrasonic energy vessel-sealing device. The remainder of the lobectomy was performed according to surgeon preference. Intraoperative, in-hospital, and 30-day postoperative bleeding and complications were prospectively recorded.

Results: A total of 150 patients with a minimum of 1 pulmonary artery branch sealed with an ultrasonic vessel-sealing device were prospectively enrolled in the trial. Resections included 139 lobectomies and 11 segmentectomies. A total of 424 pulmonary artery branches were divided: 239 with the ultrasonic vessel-sealing device, 181 with endostaplers, and 4 with endoscopic clips. The mean and median pulmonary artery diameters were 4.7 mm/5.0 mm, 10.3 mm/10.0 mm, and 6.5 mm/6.5 mm for each method, respectively. Three of the pulmonary artery branches divided with the ultrasonic vessel-sealing device (1.3%) and 4 pulmonary artery branches divided with endostaplers (2.2%) bled intraoperatively. Among the patients with seal failures, 1 patient required conversion to thoracotomy. There was no postoperative bleeding from divided pulmonary artery branches with either sealing method. There was no mortality at 30 days.

Conclusions: Pulmonary artery branch sealing with ultrasonic energy during video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy is safe for vessels 7 mm or less. The use of an ultrasonic device is a reasonable sealing method for pulmonary artery branches 7 mm or less.

Keywords: VATS lobectomy; pulmonary artery; ultrasonic energy; vessel sealing.

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