Sleeve lobectomy is a lung-saving procedure usually indicated for central tumors for which the alternative is a pneumonectomy. It preserves normal lung tissue and may enable pulmonary resection to be done in selected patients with inadequate cardiac or pulmonary reserve. One experience extends from January 1972 to December 1991, during which time 142 patients underwent a variety of sleeve resections for bronchogenic neoplasms. The majority of operations were upper-lobe sleeve resections (N = 110) and most procedures were considered complete and potentially curative (87%). There were three postoperative deaths (surgical mortality of 2.5%) and prolonged atelectasis was the most common major complication (N = 9). Follow-up was complete for the 139 survivors (mean follow-up time of 2,149 days) and overall survival was 46% at 5 years and 33% at 10 years. Five- and 10-year survivals for patients with stage I disease were 63% and 52%, respectively, while only 14% of patients with stage III disease survived 5 years. Local recurrences occurred in 23% of patients but when the resection had been complete, this incidence was 17% (21/124). These results indicate that sleeve resection is an adequate cancer operation for both compromised and uncompromised patients. Operative mortality, survival, and incidence of local recurrence are not different than what is seen after more conventional procedures.