The article by Cykert et al, published in this issue of
CHEST (see page 1551), is focused on patients’ preferences
regarding the possible outcome of lung surgery, and their impact on the
final decision of undergoing surgical treatment. The conclusions of
this study—if confirmed by larger series—may effect a change in
everyday surgical practice.
Firstly—covering a methodologic aspect—it might suggest a
revision of standard methods of evaluating postsurgical functional
results, not only considering the immediate postoperative period (30
days postoperatively or “transient states”) but, also, long-term
functional results—so-called “fixed functional outcomes”—which
were felt to be onerous enough to deter patients from the surgical
option, and have the potential to expose both the patients and the
community to increased health costs.