Indications for conversion of thoracoscopic to open thoracotomy in video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy

Department of Thoracic Surgery, People's Hospital of Peking University, Beijing, China.
ANZ Journal of Surgery (Impact Factor: 1.12). 04/2012; 82(4):245-50. DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2011.05997.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUD: The study aims to discuss indications for conversion to thoracotomy in completely thoracoscopic lobectomy.
From September 2006 to April 2010, 306 patients (164 men, 142 women, median age 58.1 years, range 15 to 86 years) underwent completely thoracoscopic lobectomy. There were 223 cases of primary lung cancer, 11 other malignant diseases and 72 cases of benign disease. The steps of the thoracoscopic procedures are almost identical to those of traditional open lobectomy, which requires standard mediastinal lymph node dissection for primary lung cancer patients. When conversion to an open procedure is necessary, such as in the presence of lymph node adhesions or metastases and bleeding, operative incisions are extended 12-15 cm towards lower angle of the scapula, retractors are used to separate the ribs, and the procedure is completely under direct visualization.
All procedures were performed without significant complications or intraoperative deaths. The average surgical duration was 195 min, and average blood loss was 256 mL with no blood transfusions required. The average chest tube drainage duration was 7.45 days. The average post-operative hospital stay was 10.34 days. There were 27 cases (8.8%) of conversion to open thoracotomy, for the reasons of interference by lymph nodes (n = 18), bleeding (n = 4), inflammatory adhesions of arteries (n = 3) and large size tumours (n = 2).
Adhesions or lymph node metastases and bleeding were the most important causes of conversion to thoracotomy in completely thoracoscopic lobectomy. Large tumours, fused fissures and dense pleural adhesions can always be managed thoracoscopically.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Thoracoscopic lobectomy is performed with increasing frequency for early-stage lung cancer. Several published reports suggest thoracoscopic resection is safe, with the potential advantage of shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery, and comparable oncologic results. Data on 180 video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) patients who underwent thoracoscopic lobectomy or sublobar anatomic resection at our institution between January 2002 and December 2006 were reviewed. The conversion rate to thoracotomy, complications, length of stay, and duration of chest tube drainage were determined. Similar variables were evaluated for patients aged older than 80 years, those with a forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) that was less than 50% predicted, those who had undergone preoperative neoadjuvant therapy, and those who had undergone lung-sparing anatomic resections. Thoracoscopic anatomic lung resection was performed successfully in 166 patients. One of 180 patients (0.6%) died, and 14 patients (9.2%) underwent conversions. Overall median length of stay was 4 days (range, 1 to 98; interquartile range [IQR], 3), and median duration of chest tube drainage was 3 days (range, 0 to 35 days; IQR, 2). The median length of hospital stay and median chest tube duration for the group aged 80 years and older was 5 and 3 days; for the segmental resection group, 4 and 3 days; for the chemotherapy or radiotherapy induction group, 3.5 and 3 days; and for the FEV1 less than 50% group, 5.5 and 4 days, respectively. No patients died in any of these groups. Thoracoscopic lung resection can be performed safely in selected patients aged 80 years and older, in those with marginal pulmonary function, and in those with pathologic response to neoadjuvant therapy.
    The Annals of thoracic surgery 03/2008; 85(2):S705-9. DOI:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2007.11.048 · 3.65 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We sometimes run across difficulty in dissection of the pulmonary arteries due to dense pleural adhesions and bleeding from the pulmonary artery during the video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy. In these cases, conversion of the VATS approach to open thoracotomy is a requisite. The presence of an easy and safe technique for pulmonary artery clamping will make the switch of the surgical procedure unnecessary. We developed the new technique for pulmonary artery clamping using 1-0 silk suture. This may become one of the standard techniques for pulmonary artery clamping not only in VATS but also in open thoracotomy, as well.
    European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery 02/2007; 31(1):129-31. DOI:10.1016/j.ejcts.2006.10.017 · 2.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To assess the role of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) in the management of a recurrent primary spontaneous pneumothorax after a prior talc pleurodesis. From 1996 to 2002, we retrospectively reviewed all patients who were treated for a recurrent primary spontaneous pneumothorax after a previous talc pleurodesis. Data on the talc procedure and the recurrent pneumothorax, delay between both, and operative features were studied. Conversion rate to a thoracotomy and postoperative complications as well as long-term outcome were reported. We collected 39 patients (28 male) with a median age of 25 years (15-41 years). The initial procedure consisted of thoracoscopic talc poudrage in all cases. The median delay between the talc procedure and the recurrence was 23 months [10 days-13 years]. Size of recurrence involved 10-80% of the hemithorax. The VATS procedure was successfully achieved in 27 patients (69%) while 12 required conversion to a thoracotomy. The main cause for conversion was the presence of dense pleural adhesion at the mediastinal part of the pleural cavity. Postoperative morbidity was limited to pleural complications in the VATS group (n=6, 22%). Median follow-up was 26 months [10-38 months]. One patient treated by VATS developed a partial recurrent pneumothorax at 12 months with a favorable outcome without further surgery. Feasibility, safety and efficacy of VATS for management of recurrent primary spontaneous pneumothorax following thoracoscopic talc poudrage are strongly suggested.
    European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery 12/2004; 26(5):889-92. DOI:10.1016/j.ejcts.2004.05.033 · 2.81 Impact Factor