Thoracoscopic resection of pulmonary metastases

Robert Dowling, P. F. Ferson, R. J. Landreneau

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2 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the use of thoracoscopic techniques to achieve parenchymal sparing wedge resection of peripheral lung lesions in patients with a history of malignancy, and to describe the morbidity, mortality, and hospital course associated with this approach. Design: Case series. Setting: University hospital. Participants: Patients with a history of malignancy and lesions on computerized tomography in the outer one third of the lung parenchyma. Main outcome measurements: Histologic analysis of resected lung lesions, operative findings, operative time, duration of chest tube drainage and hospital stay, operative morbidity, and mortality. Results: Twenty-one thoracoscopic resections of pulmonary parenchymal lesions were performed on 15 patients. All peripheral lesions identified by computerized tomography were found at thoracoscopy and successfully resected with the Nd:YAG laser (n=7), an endoscopic stapler (n=10), or both (n=4). The mean diameter of the lesions was 0.8 cm (range 0.2 to 1.5 cm). Histologic analysis revealed metastatic disease in 13 patients and benign disease in 2 patients. All resection margins were free of tumor. The mean duration of chest tube drainage and postoperative hospital stay were 1.8 ± 0.1 and 3.3 ± 0.1 days, respectively. Mean operative time was 111 min (range 45 to 155 min). One patient who underwent a right thoracoscopic resection developed a transient left vocal cord paresis. There were no other complications and no deaths. Conclusion: Thoracoscopy was successful in identifying peripheral lung lesions and allowed for parenchymal sparing resection identical in extent to that performed with open approaches. For select patients with peripheral lung nodules felt to be metastases, thoracoscopic resection may result in reduced morbidity, cost, hospital stay and allow for more rapid institution of therapy for the primary disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1450-1454
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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