Study objectives: Controversy regarding the most suitable surgical approach for treating malignancies of the lung is a matter of continuous discussions. “Complete” video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) that is performed using only the vision of a monitor is generally limited to lung resections of minimal difficulty. With the great interest in minimally invasive techniques for treating various pathologies, we have widely applied an integrated surgical approach that combines muscle-sparing minithoracotomy (incision, 4 to 10 cm) and video assistance using mainly direct visualization of the lung resection, which we have called hybrid VATS. The aim of this study is to evaluate the usefulness of hybrid VATS.
Design: Retrospective single-center study.
Interventions: From January 1998 to October 2004, 405 of 678 lobectomies (60%) and 165 of 226 segmentectomies (73%) were performed for primary lung cancer using hybrid VATS.
Results: Bronchoplasty was performed in 93 of the 678 patients (14%) who underwent lobectomy and in 11 of the 226 patients (5%) who underwent segmentectomy. Hybrid VATS was utilized in 33% of sleeve lobectomy procedures and in 27% of sleeve segmentectomy procedures. The mean (± SD) surgical time using hybrid VATS was 164 ± 48 min for lobectomy and 158 ± 35 min for segmentectomy, and the mean blood loss was 166 ± 120 and 109 ± 80 mL, respectively. There was one operative mortality (0.2%) secondary to cardiogenic shock. Postoperative complications developed in 11% of patients with p-stage IA disease after undergoing hybrid VATS, in contrast to 19% of patients after undergoing open thoracotomy. The prognosis of patients treated by hybrid VATS was equivalent to that obtained with open thoracotomy.
Conclusions: Minithoracotomy combined with video support that is performed predominantly via direct visualization is a secure, integrated, minimally invasive approach to performing major resection for lung cancer, including atypical procedures such as bronchoplasty. This hybrid VATS can be an acceptable and satisfactory option whenever the performance of complete VATS is considered to be challenging.