Robotic lung cancer surgery: from simple to complex, from surgery to clinical study

Yu Han, Yajie Zhang, Chengqiang Li, Su Yang, Hecheng Li


The robotic surgical system has been increasingly utilized for thoracic surgeries in recent years. For the treatment of lung cancer, the safety and feasibility of robotic lobectomy, segmentectomy, and even sleeve resection have been demonstrated by a series studies (1-3). Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) was initiated in May 2015 in our department, and, as of June 2019, more than 1,000 cases have been performed, including lung surgery, esophagectomy for esophageal tumors, and mediastinal tumor resection. For robotic-assisted lung surgery, 530 patients underwent lobectomy, 204 patients underwent segmentectomy, and 8 patients underwent sleeve resection. We started from robotic lobectomy and segmentectomy, and sleeve resection was carried out when we acquired greater proficiency of the robotic surgical technique. To summarize our experience and improve the efficacy of robotic lung cancer surgery, several retrospective studies and prospective clinical trials have been conducted in our department.