Video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy versus lobectomy by thoracotomy for lung cancer: Pilot study

Michael Papiashvilli*, Lior Sasson, Sharbel Azzam, Henri Hayat, Letizia Schreiber, Tiberiu Ezri, Israel E. Priel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy (VATS-L) has become accepted as a safe and effective procedure to treat early-stage non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). However, the advantages of VATS-L compared with lobectomy by thoracotomy (TL) remain controversial. The aim of this study was to compare the outcomes of patients who underwent VATS-L with those who underwent TL. METHODS: We studied 103 patients who underwent surgery for operable NSCLC between October 2009 and March 2012. All operations were performed by a single surgeon. The inclusion and exclusion criteria for VATS-L and TL were formulated before the study was initiated. Data on age, sex, preoperative comorbidities, intraoperative and postoperative complications, hospital stay, morbidity, mortality, and other characteristics were recorded preoperatively, in real time intraoperatively, and during hospitalization and were statistically compared. Comorbidities were scaled according to the Charlson Comorbidity Index, and propensity scores between the patients who underwent TL and VATS-L were compared. RESULTS: Sixty-three VATS-L operations and 40 TL operations were performed. There were no postoperative complications in 39 patients (61.9%) who underwent VATS-L compared with 25 patients (62.5%) who underwent TL. The patients who underwent TL were significantly younger than the patients who underwent VATS-L (mean ± SD, 64.7 ± 12.6 vs 70.9 ± 8.4; P = 0.003). Hospital stay was not found to be related to the type of surgery (mean ± SD, 8.43 ± 3.15 days vs 8.32 ± 4.13 days; P = 0.888). There were no significant differences when comparing postoperative complications. CONCLUSIONS: Our initial data suggest that VATS-L is a safe procedure in patients with resectable IA/IB NSCLC and may be the preferred strategy for treatment of the older patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-11
Number of pages6
JournalInnovations: Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Lobectomy
  • Lung cancer
  • Thoracotomy
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery


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