Article Abstract

Four-arm robotic lung resection versus muscle-sparing mini-thoracotomy: retrospective experience

Authors: Marion Durand, Elias Dabboura, Laurent Lamonerie, Anne Herkert, Véronique Zarka, Anne-Sophie Carrier, Stanislas Ropert


Background: Robotic surgery was introduced in the early 2000s but its use remains limited, particularly in thoracic surgery. Here we compare the first consecutive 185 four-arm robotic procedures carried out in our institution vs. muscle-sparing video-assisted mini-thoracotomy (MSMT), our previous minimally invasive approach for anatomical lung resection.
Methods: One hundred and eighty-five consecutive patients undergoing surgery using the four-arm robotic technique between February 2014 and December 2016 were compared to a control historical series of 136 consecutive patients undergoing surgery by MSMT in the same institution. The same senior surgeon performed all surgical procedures. Comparisons between the two groups were performed using the Chi² test for qualitative data and the Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney or Student’s t-test for quantitative data.
Results: The demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients were similar in the two groups. In the robotic group, median (min–max) length of hospital stay (LOS) was significantly shorter (by 2 days) than in the MSMT group {7 days [3–63] vs. 9 days [5–63], respectively; P<0.0001}. The rate of complications was similar in the two groups, but the complications appeared to be less severe in patients undergoing robotic surgery (switch from Clavien-Dindo grade III and IV to grade II) although further studies are required to confirm this due to the large number of missing data.
Conclusions: In a senior thoracic surgery practice, the switch from a minimally invasive technique to robotic surgery was safe and beneficial in patients undergoing anatomical lung resection in terms of LOS and possible complication severity.