Original Article

Robotic lung segmentectomy for malignant and benign lesions

Alper Toker, Kemal Ayalp, Elena Uyumaz, Erkan Kaba, Özkan Demirhan, Suat Erus


Objective: Surgical use of robots has evolved over the last 10 years. However, the academic experience with robotic lung segmentectomy remains limited. We aimed to analyze our lung segmentectomy experience with robot-assisted thoracoscopic surgery.
Methods: Prospectively recorded clinical data of 21 patients who underwent robotic lung anatomic segmentectomy with robot-assisted thoracoscopic surgery were retrospectively reviewed. All cases were done using the da Vinci System. A three incision portal technique with a 3 cm utility incision in the posterior 10th to 11th intercostal space was performed. Individual dissection, ligation and division of the hilar structures were performed. Systematic mediastinal lymph node dissection or sampling was performed in 15 patients either with primary or secondary metastatic cancers.
Results: Fifteen patients (75%) were operated on for malignant lung diseases. Conversion to open surgery was not necessary. Postoperative complications occurred in four patients. Mean console robotic operating time was 84±26 (range, 40-150) minutes. Mean duration of chest tube drainage and mean postoperative hospital stay were 3±2.1 (range, 1-10) and 4±1.4 (range, 2-7) days respectively. The mean number of mediastinal stations and number of dissected lymph nodes were 4.2 and 14.3 (range, 2-21) from mediastinal and 8.1 (range, 2-19) nodes from hilar and interlobar stations respectively.
Conclusions: Robot-assisted thoracoscopic segmentectomy for malignant and benign lesions appears to be practical, safe, and associated with few complications and short postoperative hospitalization. Lymph node removal also appears oncologically acceptable for early lung cancer patients. Benefits in terms of postoperative pain, respiratory function, and quality of life needs a comparative, prospective series particularly with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery.

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