Background There is rising interest among thoracic surgeons in anatomical segmental resection for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the current study we compared video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and thoracotomy approaches for segmentectomy to explore the safety and oncologic efficacy of VATS for stage I NSCLC. Methods We retrospectively analyzed all patients who underwent segmentectomy for clinical stage I NSCLC from 2000 to 2013. Perioperative and oncologic outcomes were evaluated. The probabilities of disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method and multivariate Cox regression analysis. Results We identified 193 segmentectomies, including 91 (47%) performed by VATS and 102 (53%) performed by thoracotomy. Patients who underwent VATS, although older (median age 72 versus 68 years; p = 0.016), had similar sex distribution (63% versus 61% women; p = 0.792) and similar clinical stages as the thoracotomy group (stage IA: VATS, 93.4% versus thoracotomy 87.3%; p = 0.152). No significant differences were found in the final pathologic stages (p = 0.439), total number of lymph nodes (LNs) sampled (7 versus 8; p = 0.104), or median number of mediastinal LN stations sampled (2 versus 2; p = 0.234). VATS was associated with decreased length of stay (4 versus 5 days; p = 0.001) and decreased pulmonary complications (13.2% versus 26.5%; p = 0.022). Five-year DFS and OS favored VATS over thoracotomy (58% versus 47%; p = 0.013 and 75% versus 62%; p = 0.017, respectively). By multivariable analysis, the only predictor of poor DFS or OS was larger tumor size. Conclusions VATS segmentectomy is a safe and oncologically effective technique for the treatment of stage I NSCLC. Patients who underwent VATS had a shorter length of stay, fewer pulmonary complications, equivalent lymphadenectomy results, and similar oncologic outcomes compared with patients undergoing thoracotomy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine