The clinical value of a new method of functional lymph node dissection in video-assisted thoracic surgery right non-small cell lung cancer radical resection

Sui Chen, Shijie Huang, Shaobin Yu, Ziyang Han, Lei Gao, Zhimin Shen, Mingqiang Kang


Background: To evaluate the safety, thoroughness and feasibility of “tunnel-type en bloc mediastinal lymph node dissection” in video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) for right non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) radical resection, which functionally dissected the lymph nodes of station 2R/4R/7.
Methods: A retrospective study was performed in the clinical data of 196 patients with VATS right NSCLC radical resection. According to the different methods of lymph node dissection of station 2R, 4R and 7, they were divided into the tunnel-type group (n=102) and the routine group (n=94). The clinical data of two group were compared.
Results: The analyses of the baselines of the two groups are comparable. For lymph nodes dissection of station 2R/4R/7, operation time, the total number, positive number and metastasis incidence shown no significant difference between two groups (P>0.05). However, the amount of bleeding, postoperative thoracic drainage volume, extubation time, hospitalization days, the incidence of postoperative pulmonary infection and chronic cough were significantly lower in the tunnel-type group (P<0.05). There was no significant difference in 3-year recurrence and metastasis and in 3-year survival between tunnel-type group and routine group.
Conclusions: The tunnel-type group has more advantages, such as less surgical trauma, shorter hospitalization time, faster postoperative rehabilitation, even less postoperative chronic cough compared with the routine group. Therefore, we believe that the tunnel-type en bloc mediastinal lymph node dissection is a safe, thorough and feasible surgical method, which is worthy of being popularized and applied in the VATS right NSCLC radical resection.