Robot-Assisted Lobectomy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer in China: Initial Experience and Techniques

Xiaojing Zhao, Liqiang Qian, Hao Lin, Qiang Tan, Qingquan Luo


Objective: To summarize our initial experience in robot-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy.
Methods: Five patients underwent lobectomy using da Vinci S HD Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Sunnyvale, California). During the operation, we respectively made four ports over chest wall for positioning robotic endoscope, left and right robotic arms and auxiliary instruments without retracting ribs. The procedure followed sequential anatomy as complete video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery lobectomy did, and lymph node dissection followed international standard.
Results: All patients successfully underwent complete robot-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy. Neither additional incisions nor emergent conversion to a thoracotomy happened. Frozen dissection during lobectomy showed non-small-cell lung cancer in four patients, who afterwards underwent systemic lymph node dissection, while the case left was with tuberculoma and didn\'t undergo lymph node dissection. Recurrent air leak occurred in one case, so chest tube was kept for drainage, and one week later, the patient was extubated due to improvement. All other patients recovered well postoperatively without obvious postoperative complications.
Conclusion: Robot-assisted thoracoscopic surgery is feasible with good operability, clear visual field, reliable action and its supriority of trouble free; exquisite operative skills are required to ensure a stable and safe operation; robot-assisted surgery is efficiency and patients recover well postoperatively.