Article Abstract

Learning curve of uniportal video-assisted lobectomy: analysis of 15-month experience in a single center

Authors: Dania Nachira, Elisa Meacci, Venanzio Porziella, Maria Letizia Vita, Maria Teresa Congedo, Marco Chiappetta, Leonardo Petracca Ciavarella, Mahmoud Ismail, Elisabetta Gualtieri, Alfredo Cesario, Stefano Margaritora


Background: Uniportal video-assisted thoracoscopic (U-VATS) lobectomy has been becoming the technique of choice in an increasing number of centers. The aim of our study was to review our experience, evaluating the learning curve of U-VATS for lung lobectomy and outcomes.
Methods: The prospectively collected clinical data of 43 consecutive patients, undergone U-VATS lobectomy from June 2016 to September 2017, were reviewed. The cumulative sum analysis was applied for defining the completion of learning curve (CLC), evaluating the relationship between operative time and the consecutive number of operations.
Results: The mean operative time of Uniportal VATS lobectomy was 179.93±43.41 min. According to the cumulative sum analysis, the CLC was reached after 25 patients. Using the cut-off of 25 patients, the whole populations was divided in group A (first 25 patients of the experience) and group B (the last 18 patients). The mean operative time in group B was significantly shorter than in group A (164.00±24.46 vs. 191.40±50.45 min, respectively, P=0.04). There were no differences in demographic characteristics, number of removed lymph nodes, chest tube duration, and hospital stay among the two groups. The number of conversions was higher in group A (4 vs. 0; P=0.07), as the number of major complications, like reoperations for bleeding (2 vs. 0; P=0.22). There was no postoperative 30-day-related death.
Conclusions: U-VATS lobectomy seems to be a quite safe and feasible procedure, with a steep learning curve and low complication rate, if performed by experienced surgeons after proper training.

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