Elective pulmonary lobectomy: factors associated with morbidity and operative mortality

Ann Thorac Surg. 1985 Oct;40(4):349-52. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(10)60065-3.


Periodic review of clinical results is essential to ensure that high-quality patient care is maintained. To that end, we reviewed the morbidity and operative mortality in a consecutive series of 369 pulmonary lobectomies performed between January 1, 1970, and December 31, 1983. There were 251 male and 118 female patients with a mean age of 50.6 years. The thirty-day operative mortality was 2.2% (8/369), with 6 of these deaths related primarily to respiratory insufficiency. Two hundred twenty-four postoperative management problems occurred in 151 patients and included arrhythmia, air leak, pneumothorax, respiratory difficulties, postoperative bleeding, pleural effusion, wound infection, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolus, empyema, bronchial stump leak, and lobar gangrene. Multiple factors were related to the occurrence of postoperative morbidity and mortality using both chi-square analysis to examine each individual item and discriminant analysis to evaluate their interaction. Chi-square tabulation showed no difference in the occurrence of major postoperative complications (p greater than 0.05) related to the side of operation, an abnormal preoperative electrocardiogram, a forced vital capacity of 2.8 liters or less, a one-second forced expiratory volume (FEV1) of less than 1.7 liters, an oxygen tension of less than 60 mm Hg, or the seniority of the surgeon (resident versus attending). An increased number of complications (p less than 0.05) was found in male patients, in patients operated on for carcinoma, and in patients older than 60 years. Stepwise discriminant analysis included FEV1 as a significant predictor of postoperative complications.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Carcinoma / surgery*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy / adverse effects
  • Pneumonectomy / mortality*
  • Pneumothorax / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Preoperative Care
  • Respiration Disorders / etiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology
  • Vital Capacity