Background: This study was performed to evaluate and determine the validity and benefits of video-assisted thoracic surgical simultaneously stapled pulmonary lobectomy without rib spreading.
Methods: Between September 1992 and August 1995, 100 consecutive video-assisted thoracic surgical simultaneously stapled lobectomies without rib spreading were performed.
Results: Forty-five male and 55 female patients had 24 right upper, 8 right middle, 29 right lower, 24 left upper, 15 left lower lobectomies for 66 adenocarcinomas, 20 squamous cell carcinomas, 4 large cell carcinomas, 8 benign lesions, and 2 metastatic lesions. Seventy-six patients had negative nodes. Nine patients had positive nodes. Every bronchoscopy was visually and cytologically negative. Forty-nine cervical mediastinoscopies were negative. Operating time for the series averaged 90.3 minutes. Hospitalization averaged 3.5 days for the entire group, but was 2.6 days for the last 20 patients. Lesions ranged from 1.5 to 8 cm, averaging 3.4 cm. There was no surgical mortality, no hemorrhage, no transfusion, and no urgent conversion to an open procedure. No bronchial fistula, vascular fistula, or bronchovascular fistula has occurred. Complications included 6 air leaks, 2 cerebrovascular accidents, 1 infected chest tube site, 2 cases of pneumonitis, and 1 subcutaneous emphysema.
Conclusions: Video-assisted thoracic surgical simultaneously stapled lobectomy without rib spreading is a safe operation that can be combined with lymph node sampling. At this early stage, therapeutic outcomes (survival) for resected neoplasms appear similar to results obtained from traditional open techniques.