Background: This study estimated operative risk and examined factors determining long-term survival after resection of typical carcinoid tumors.
Methods: From 1976 to 1996, 139 consecutive patients (66 male and 73 female patients with a mean age of 47 +/- 15 years) underwent thoracotomy for typical carcinoid tumor. The tumors were centrally located in 102 patients (73.4%).
Results: Radical resection was performed in 106 patients (7 pneumonectomies, 13 bilobectomies, and 86 lobectomies) and conservative resection in 33 (3 segmentectomies, 3 wedge resections, 20 sleeve lobectomies, and 7 sleeve bronchectomies). There were no postoperative deaths. Complications occurred in 19 patients (13.7%). The morbidity rate was not increased after bronchoplastic procedures (chi 2 = 0.033, not significant). Staging was pT1 in 107 patients (77.0%) and pT2 in 32 (23.0%); 13 patients (9.4%) had nodal metastases. Seventeen patients have died (12.2%), during follow-up, but only three deaths were related to the disease. The overall survival rate at 5, 10, and 15 years was estimated to be 92.4%, 88.3%, and 76.4%, respectively; estimated disease-free survival was 100% at 5 years and 91.4% at 10 and 15 years. Estimated survival of patients with lymph node metastasis was 100% at 5, 10, and 15 years. Univariate analysis failed to demonstrate any prognostic significance for sex, tumor size (T1 versus T2), tumor location (central versus peripheral), and type of resection.
Conclusions: These data confirm an excellent prognosis after complete resection of typical carcinoid tumors, including those with lymph node metastases. Parenchyma-saving resections should be preferred.