Robotic Versus Thoracoscopic Resection for Lung Cancer: Early Results of a New Robotic Program

Benedetto Mungo, Craig M. Hooker, Janelle S.Y. Ho, Stephen C. Yang, Richard J. Battafarano, Malcolm V. Brock, Daniela Molena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Robot-assisted surgical techniques have been introduced in recent years as an alternative minimally invasive approach for lung surgery. While the advantage of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) over thoracotomy for anatomical lung resection has been extensively reported, the results of robotic video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (RVATS) compared to VATS are still under investigation. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of lung cancer patients, undergoing minimally invasive segmentectomy or lobectomy between December 2007 and May 2014. A robotic program was introduced in 2011. Relevant early surgical outcomes were compared between VATS and RVATS, including mortality, morbidity, conversion to thoracotomy, length of stay (LOS), and reoperation. Results: Eighty (60.2%) patients underwent VATS resection, while 53 (39.8%) had a RVATS procedure. The two groups presented no meaningful differences at baseline, in terms of age, race, body mass index, and preoperative comorbidities. Adenocarcinoma was the most common histology in both groups. Patients in the RVATS group had significantly more segmentectomies (11.3% versus 1.2%, P = .016). There were no postoperative deaths. RVATS appeared to be associated with fewer conversions to open (13.2% versus 26.2%, P = .025) and more lymph nodes retrieved (9 versus 7, P = .049). We found no significant differences in terms of other individual complications, including tracheostomy, reintubation, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and cerebrovascular events. Conclusions: According to our results, the introduction of a robotic program did not negatively affect the early surgical outcomes of a well-established oncologic minimally invasive thoracic program. Potential advantages of RVATS still need to be explored in terms of long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-248
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Robotic Versus Thoracoscopic Resection for Lung Cancer: Early Results of a New Robotic Program'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this