Thoracoscopic pulmonary lobectomy. Early operative experience and preliminary clinical results

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1993 Dec;106(6):1111-7.


Thoracoscopic video-assisted lobectomy procedures were performed in 11 patients (7 men, 4 women; age range 40 to 74 years, mean 66 years). Ten patients had peripheral pulmonary opacities: eight of these were bronchogenic carcinomas, one was an atypical carcinoid lesion, and one was a pulmonary infarct. All of these cases had preoperative evaluation by computed tomographic scanning to exclude mediastinal lymphadenopathy. The remaining patient had preoperatively diagnosed lobar bronchiectasis. Surgical access was gained via three stab (1 cm) incisions and one short (7 cm) submammary incision, which was made without rib separation and was used for specimen delivery. Lobes resected were the left upper (n = 4), left lower (n = 2), right upper (n = 2), and right lower (n = 3). All patients survived. Overall mean operative time was 3.3 hours and blood loss 263 ml. For the latter five cases, however, these figures were reduced to 2.3 hours and 100 ml, respectively, indicating improvement with experience. In no cases was ventilatory assistance required. Mean high-dependency unit time was 41 hours. In each case, it was possible to perform a standard dissectional lobectomy with lobar lymph node clearance equal to that obtained at open thoracotomy. Comparison with a series of 33 open lobectomy procedures demonstrated reduced postoperative pain, morphine consumption, and high-dependency unit stay. This preliminary experience supports the development of video-assisted thoracoscopic pulmonary lobectomy for patients with small peripheral opacities or known benign disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / surgery*
  • Lung Neoplasms / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumonectomy / methods*
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Treatment Outcome