Uniportal VATS: the first German experience

Mahmoud Ismail, Melanie Helmig, Marc Swierzy, Jens Neudecker, Harun Badakhshi, Diego Gonzalez-Rivas, Jens C. Rückert


Background: The acceptance of uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) for minor and major thoracic procedures is growing in Europe. This study presents the first experience with uniportal VATS in Germany.
Methods: In a retrospective study of prospectively collected data, 56 uniportal VATS were analyzed between 06/2012 and 06/2014. The technique was used for diagnostic aims, pleurectomies, wedge resections, segmentectomies and major resections. All procedures were performed without rib spreading. Patients’ demographic data, preoperative and postoperative management as well as results were analyzed.
Results: A total of 42 patients (75%) were males. The mean age was 59.2±15 years. The uniportal VATS procedures included one or multiple wedge resections in 30 cases (53.6%), major resections in 9 cases (16.1%), anatomical segment resections in 6 cases (10.7%) and other indications in 11 cases (19.6%). The median operation time was 252, 114, 88 and 73 minutes for major resections, anatomical segment resections, wedge resections and other indications, respectively. There were three conversions in two cases of major resections and in one anatomical segmentectomy. The mean chest tube duration was 3.4±2.1 days. The mean hospital stay was 8.3±5.3 days for the whole group.
Conclusions: Uniportal VATS is a feasible and safe technique for various indications in thoracic surgery. The perioperative results are promising. It can be performed by thoracic surgeons experienced in the postero-lateral thoracotomy approach.