Advances in endoscopic surgical equipment and laser technology have expanded the role of thoracoscopy to include thoracoscopic pulmonary resection. Eighty-five thoracoscopic pulmonary resections were performed on 61 consecutive patients with small lesions (<3 cm) in the outer third of the lung. Patients with preoperative, histologic evidence of bronchogenic carcinoma were excluded unless there was impairment of cardiopulmonary function, advanced age, or concomitant extrathoracic malignancy. These thoracoscopic pulmonary resections were accomplished with the neodymium:yttriumaluminum garnet laser (31), endoscopic stapler (29), or both (25). The mean diameter of the lesions was 1.3 cm (range, 0.4 to 2.7 cm). There has been one late death (38th postoperative day) unrelated to the operation. Morbidity consisted of postoperative atelectasis (2), pneumonia (2), bleeding requiring transfusion (1), and bronchopleural fistula of greater than 7 days duration (3). There were no wound problems. The mean period of chest tube drainage was 3.3 ± 3.0 days. Mean postoperative stay was 5.7 ± 4.9 days. The pathologic diagnosis was benign disease in 28 patients (interstitial fibrosis/pneumonitis, 15; radiation fibrosis, 1; sclerosing hemangioma, 1; rheumatoid nodules, 1; granuloma, 2; nocardia, 1; infarct, 1; hamartoma, 4; scar, 1; cytomegalovirus pneumonia, 1), metastatic malignancy in 20 patients, and bronchogenic carcinoma in 13 patients. Five patients found at thoracoscopic pulmonary resection to have bronchogenic cancer had adequate pulmonary function and therefore underwent formal segmentectomy (3) or lobectomy (2). Thoracoscopic pulmonary resection was the only operation performed on patients with benign disease, patients with metastatic lesions, and selected patients with limited stage bronchogenic carcinoma at increased risk for thoracotomy. Continued success with thoracoscopic resection may have a significant impact on the operative management of carefully selected patients with peripheral pulmonary lesions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine