Video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy--preliminary experience

Alon Yellin, David Simansky, Michael Paley, Yael Refaely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery has become routine worldwide. On the basis of accumulating experience and technologic improvements, more complex operations can be performed. Until recently, thoracoscopic lobectomy has not been performed in Israel. GOALS: To describe the initial experience with thoracoscopic lobectomy in Sheba Medical Center, and discuss the advantages, disadvantages and indications for its use. MATERIAL & METHODS: From June 2000 to January 2001, five patients (3 male, 2 female) 22-72 year-old underwent thoracoscopic lobectomy. Four had malignant neoplasms (3 lung primary) and one a benign process. Preparations for surgery, anesthesia and monitoring were standard as for open lobectomy. Surgery was done through 3 ports and a 5-7 cm auxiliary thoracotomy. The majority of the operation was performed with staplers. In patients with lung tumors the regional lymph nodes were sampled. Pulmonary function tests were evaluated prior to surgery and in the immediate postoperative period. RESULTS: Lobectomy was completed in all patients according to preoperative planning without conversion to open thoracotomy. Operative time was 120-160 minutes. Blood transfusion was not required in any patient during or after the lobectomy. There was no operative mortality and only two minor complications in one patient. Narcotic requirement did not exceed 40 mg of morphine in any patient. Pulmonary function tests revealed a smaller than expected decrease compared to open thoracotomy. The cosmetic results were excellent. CONCLUSIONS: Thoracoscopic lobectomy is feasible in Israel too. It is an acceptable alternative for patients needing this operation. Thoracoscopic lobectomy causes less surgical trauma, better functional result and expectance for lowered mortality and morbidity. Its main disadvantage is its high cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-141, 224
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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