Article Abstract

Management of the inter-segmental plane using the “Combined Dimensional Reduction Method” is safe and viable in uniport video-assisted thoracoscopic pulmonary segmentectomy

Authors: Bin Zheng, Guobing Xu, Xiayu Fu, Weidong Wu, Mingqiang Liang, Taidui Zeng, Shuliang Zhang, Yong Zhu, Wei Zheng, Chun Chen, Benoît Bédat, Scott J. Swanson, Terumoto Koike, Hisashi Iwata, Benedetta Bedetti, Masaaki Sato, written on behalf of the AME Thoracic Surgery Collaborative Group


Background: The management of the intersegmental plane (ISP) is challenging during uniport video-assisted thoracoscopic (VATS) pulmonary segmentectomy. Staplers and electrocautery have been used extensively in ISP management. However, both of them have their respective drawbacks. Currently, we have provided a revised technique termed as “Combined Dimensional Reduction Method” (CDR method), for managing the ISP with combined application of ultrasonic scalpel and staplers. The study aimed to review the outcomes of patients who underwent uniport VATS segmentectomy with or without the CDR method in our institute and assess the feasibility and safety of the CDR method.
Methods: From March 2017 to February 2018, 220 patients who underwent uniport VATS segmentectomy were retrospectively reviewed. By using IQQA software, pulmonary structures were reconstructed as three-dimensional (3D) images, making the targeted structures could be identified preoperatively. For the management of the ISP, in the CDR group, we firstly used the ultrasonic scalpel to trim the 3D pulmonary structure along the intersegmental demarcation, making the remaining targeted parenchyma both sufficiently thin enough and located on a 2D plane; thus, enabling easy use of staplers in managing ISP. Whereas, in the non-CDR group, we only use the staplers to manage the ISPs. The clinical characteristics, complications, and postoperative pulmonary functions were compared between the two groups.
Results: Propensity score analysis generated 2 well-matched pairs of 71 patients in CDR and non-CDR groups. There was no 30-day postoperative death or readmission in either group. The CDR group was significantly associated with the shorter operative time (178.3±35.8 vs. 209.2±28.7 min) (P=0.031) and postoperative stay (4.5±2.3 vs. 5.7±4.2 days) (P=0.041), compared to the non-CDR group. Moreover, no significant difference was observed in blood loss, a period of chest tube drainage, a period of ultrafine tube drainage, and postoperative pulmonary complications between the two groups. Moreover, the recovery rate of postoperative forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) or vital capacity (VC) at 1 and 3 months after segmentectomy was comparable between them.
Conclusions: The CDR method could make segmentectomy easier and more accurate, and therefore has the potential to be a viable and effective technique for uniport VATS pulmonary segmentectomy.