When small pulmonary lesions are discovered on CT-scan during cancer surveillance, the differentiation between primary cancer metastasis and another metachronous carcinoma is impossible on frozen section. In this context, segmentectomy as sparing-lung resection is probably a valuable option to treat both lesions. However, segmentectomy is a complex procedure when using video thoracoscopy. Robotic segmentectomy, as described by Ninan (1) and Melfi (2), could be a more accurate and easier approach. Our objective is to show this reproducible technique.
1. Ninan M, Dylewski MR. Total port-access robot-assisted pulmonary lobectomy without utility thoracotomy. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2010;38:231-2.
2. Melfi FM, Menconi GF, Mariani AM, Angeletti CA. Early experience with robotic technology for thoracoscopic surgery. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2002;21:864-8.
Materials and methods:
In 2006, a 78-year-old man was found with a medical history of asbestos exposure and colonic adenocarcinoma with lymph node metastasis treated by hemi-colectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy. During colon cancer surveillance, a centrimetric pulmonary mass of the left upper lobe was found on CT-scan in September 2012. In this context, the lesion was suggestive of metastasis, but primary lung cancer could not be ruled out (due to the patient’s history of smoking). As a result, trisegmentectomy of the left upper lobe was decided upon instead of wedge resection, for diagnosis and treatment of the lesion.
Results: The postoperative course was uneventful, with a medical discharge on the fourth day following trisegmentectomy. Pathological findings concluded to a primary lung carcinoma without lymph node invasion.
Conclusion: Complete and precise segmentectomy can be performed safely by means of the da Vinci™ robotic system, without using a utility thoracotomy. This diagnostic and therapeutic option must be considered in case of small pulmonary lesions occurring during cancer surveillance.