The first 100 infant thoracoscopic lobectomies: Observations through the learning curve and comparison to open lobectomy

Pablo Laje, Erik G. Pearson, Allan F. Simpao, Mohammed A. Rehman, Tiffany Sinclair, Holly L. Hedrick, N. Scott Adzick, Alan W. Flake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective The objective of the study is to describe our initial 100 attempted infant thoracoscopic lobectomies for asymptomatic, prenatally diagnosed lung lesions, and compare the results to contemporaneous age-matched patients undergoing open lobectomy. Background Infant thoracoscopic lobectomy is a technically challenging procedure, which has only gained acceptance worldwide in recent years. Methods This is a retrospective review of all patients undergoing thoracoscopic or open lung lobectomy between March 2005 and January 2014. Included were all asymptomatic infants younger than 4 months. Excluded were patients undergoing emergent lobectomy and patients with isolated extralobar bronchopulmonary sequestrations. Results A total of 100 attempted thoracoscopic lobectomies were compared with 188 open lobectomies. In the thoracoscopic group, mean age and weight at surgery were 7.3 weeks and 4.8 kg, mean operative time was 185 minutes, and mean hospital stay was 3 days. Twelve cases were converted to open (12%). Ten conversions occurred within the first third of the series and none in the last third. There were no mortalities. There were no differences between the thoracoscopic and open groups in perioperative complications or hospital stay. There was a significant difference in the operative time: 111 minutes vs. 185 minutes (open vs. thoracoscopic; p < 0.001). There was a higher mean end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) and lower mean peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2) in the thoracoscopic group versus the open group (51.7 versus 38.6 mmHg and 97.5 versus 99.1%, respectively). Conclusion In high volume centers, the learning curve of thoracoscopic lobectomy can be overcome and the procedure can be performed with equivalent outcomes and, in our opinion, superior cosmetic results to open lobectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1811-1816
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Lung lobectomy
  • Neonates
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Thoracotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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