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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2015 May;47(5):912-5. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezu324. Epub 2014 Aug 21.

Pain and recovery are comparable after either uniportal or multiport video-assisted thoracoscopic lobectomy: an observation study.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK
  • 2Department of Anaesthesia, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK.
  • 3Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK.



Uniportal approaches to video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy have been described in significant series. Few comparison studies between the two techniques exist. The aim was to determine whether the uniportal technique had more favourable postoperative outcomes than the multiport technique.


All VATS lobectomies undertaken at a single university hospital during August 2012 to December 2013 were studied. Patients with preoperative opiate use or chronic pain were excluded. Patients were divided into those with uniportal and multiport approaches for analysis. All continuous data were assessed for normality, and analysed with the Mann-Whitney U-tests or t-tests as appropriate. Categorical data were analysed by Fisher's exact or χ(2) test for trend as appropriate.


One hundred and twenty-nine VATS lobectomies were completed. Six were excluded and data were incomplete for 13, leaving 110 (15 uniportal, 95 multiport) for analysis. The demographics of the two groups were similar. There was no significant difference in the Thoracoscore or American Society of Anesthesiologists grades. The median morphine use in the first 24 postoperative hours was 19 mg in the uniportal group and 23 mg in the multiport group, P = 0.84. The median visual analogue pain score in the first 24 h was 0 in the uniportal group and 0 in the multiport group, P = 0.65. There was no difference in the duration of patient-controlled analgesia (P = 0.97), chest drain duration (P = 0.67) or hospital length of stay (P = 0.54). There was no inpatient mortality and no unplanned admission to critical care in either group.


Uniportal VATS lobectomy is safe, and there is no appreciable negative impact on the hospital stay or morbidity. Patient-reported pain and morphine use in the first 24 h was low with either technique. Larger prospective studies are needed to quantify any benefit to a particular approach for VATS lobectomy.

© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. All rights reserved.


Carcinoma; Non-small-cell lung; Outcome assessment; Thoracic surgery; Video-assisted

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