Robotic-assisted mediastinal surgery: the first Chinese series of 167 consecutive cases

Hanyue Li, Jiantao Li, Jia Huang, Yunhai Yang, Qingquan Luo


Background: To report the first and largest series of robotic-assisted mediastinal surgeries performed in a single center by the same surgical team in mainland China.
Methods: From May 2009 to June 2017, 167 patients (100 males, 67 females), with a mean age of 50.2 years (range, 12–78 years), underwent robotic surgery for the treatment of a mediastinal mass. Data regarding the operation time, docking time, blood loss, conversion rate, morbidity, mortality and survival follow-up were collected and analyzed.
Results: The mean operation time and docking time were 70.01±29.49 and 10.12±2.77 min. There were 56 thymomas, 52 cysts, 17 schwannomas, 9 bronchogenic cysts, 6 thymic hyperplasias, 6 foregut cysts, 4 squamous carcinomas and 17 others. The mean drainage on the first day after operation was 122.83±107.58 mL, and the mean post-operative drainage duration and post-operative hospital stay were 2.95 days, ranging from 1–7 days, and 4.09 days, ranging from 2–10 days, respectively. The post-operative complication rate was 3%, and the conversion rate was 1.8%. No perioperative mortality occurred. One patient died due to tumor recurrence.
Conclusions: Our experience indicates that this robotic surgical system is a safe and established technique for mediastinal mass resection.