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  • 1015
  • 2011-03-15

Video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) lobectomy: right lower lobe

Epublication WebSurg.com, Mar 2011;11(03). URL:
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Standard treatment of early-stage non-small cell lung cancer involves anatomic pulmonary lobectomy and mediastinal lymph node dissection. Traditionally, this procedure has been carried out via postero-lateral thoracotomy, requiring division of chest wall muscles and rib spreading. This is frequently associated with chronic postoperative pain, which may become incapacitating in 5% of patients. One of the major potential advantages of video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) lobectomy is decreasing the incidence of chronic post-thoracotomy pain. Key aspects of the procedure include: - proper patient positioning; - access to the pleural cavity and appropriate positioning of operating incisions*; - careful dissection of pulmonary arterial branches, using a “fissure-sparing” technique whenever possible to decrease the incidence of prolonged postoperative air-leaks; - division of lung parenchyma, blood vessels, and bronchus using endoscopic staplers. The VATS approach can be carried out with similar morbidity and similar oncologic outcome to traditional open surgery. We present VATS lobectomy for adenocarcinoma of the right lower lobe in a 78-year-old patient (the video emphasizes the steps of lobe resection - mediastinal lymph node dissection was effected but is not shown). Acknowledgment: we would like to thank Nathalie Leroux RN, Francine Girard RN, and Mélodie Leclerc RN for their continued support. *The figure used to illustrate the positioning of operating incisions was adapted with permission from: «Handbook of perioperative care in general thoracic surgery», Deslauriers J, Mehran R, eds. Positioning and incisions, pages 206-227, fig 5-19, Copyright Elsevier, 2005.