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Chest. 1996 Feb;109(2):554-6.

Thoracoscopic lobectomy for benign diseases.

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Department of Surgery, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT.


The few reports in the literature on thoracoscopic anatomic lung resections were almost exclusively for early primary lung cancers. We report our combined experience on video-assisted thoracoscopic (VAT) lobectomy for benign diseases from two major hospitals in Hong Kong over a 20-month period. From August 1993 to March 1995, 66 VAT lobectomies were performed; of this number, 10 cases (15%) were for benign diseases (5 tuberculosis, 2 organized pneumonia, 1 bronchiectasis, 1 sclerosing hemangioma, 1 infected bronchogenic cyst). There was no mortality or incidence of intraoperative complications. Postoperative complications occurred in one patient with tuberculosis and consisted of persistent air leak and subsequent wound infection. There were no long-term complications after a mean follow-up of 11 months. The mean duration of chest tube drainage was 6.7 days and that of hospital stay was 9.8 days. These results were not statistically different from those achieved in VAT lobectomies performed for malignant tumors (5.0 days for drainage and 6.8 days for hospital stay) despite the fact that hilar dissection was sometimes more difficult in the former because of inflammatory changes. We conclude that VAT lobectomy for benign diseases is technically feasible even though its role in thoracic surgery remains to be defined.

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