Surgeons, being human, have widely varying thresholds for the adoption of new technology and techniques. Although we all would like to be working “at the cutting edge,” it can be somewhat difficult to “take the plunge” when new procedures appear. What one surgeon considers an exciting new technique might be considered challenging or even daunting by another.
In this issue of CHEST (see page 292), Cao and colleagues1 report on an international survey of thoracic surgeons that provides a snapshot of the current status of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy worldwide nearly two decades after its introduction. Previous surveys have been more limited in scope and size,2,3 making this an important contribution to our understanding of current attitudes toward how VATS lobectomy is being incorporated into practice. Because of its international reach, this report also raises several issues regarding the real differences in the adoption of new technology between developed and developing nations.