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Comparison of In-Hospital and Long-term Outcomes of Sublobar Lung Cancer Surgery by VATS and Open Techniques

Tuminello, Stephanie, MPH*; Liu, Bian, PhD*; Wolf, Andrea, MD; Alpert, Naomi, MS*; Taioli, Emanuela, MD, PhD*,†; Flores, Raja M., MD

American Journal of Clinical Oncology: December 2018 - Volume 41 - Issue 12 - p 1149–1153
doi: 10.1097/COC.0000000000000440
Original Articles: Thoracic

Objective: Sublobar resection is often used as an alternative surgical approach in lung cancer patients who are unlikely to tolerate a full lobe resection. This study aims to assess outcomes of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgeries (VATS) sublobar resection as a surgical technique.

Materials and Methods: The SEER-Medicare database was queried to identify patients with primary lung cancer who had VATS or open sublobar resection. Baseline clinical differences between VATS and open patients were adjusted for in logistic regression and by propensity score matching to investigate surgical outcomes.

Results: Patients undergoing VATS had a greater number of comorbidities (adjusted odds ratio [ORadj], 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.85-0.96) and were less likely to have later stage cancer (ORadj, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.67-0.95), squamous compared with adenocarcinoma (ORadj, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.68-0.99), large (>30 mm) tumor size (ORadj, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.0.41-0.75). VATS patients were less likely to have nodes removed for examination during surgery (ORadj, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.64-0.90). After propensity matching (n=2148), patients who underwent VATS were less likely to experience in-hospital complications, blood transfusions, and a prolonged length of hospital stay than those who had open surgery. There was no statistically significant difference in in-hospital or long-term mortality between patients with VATS and open surgery.

Conclusion: In the most compromised lung cancer patients, VATS sublobar resection might be the best option.

*Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Institute for Translational Epidemiology

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY

This study used the linked SEER-Medicare database. The interpretation and reporting of these data are the sole responsibility of the authors.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Emanuela Taioli, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, One Gustave L. Levy Place, P.O. Box 1133, New York, NY 10029. E-mail:

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