Cao CQ, Stine ML, Yan TD
J Thorac Dis 2009 Dec;1(1):34-8
Since its inception, minimally invasive surgery has made a dramatic impact on all branches of surgery. Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was first described in the early 1990s and has since become popular in a number of tertiary referral centers. Proponents of this relatively new procedure cite a number of potentially favorable perioperative outcomes, possibly due to reduced surgical trauma and stress. However, a significant proportion of the cardiothoracic community remains skeptical, as there is still a paucity of robust clinical data on long-term survival and recurrence rates.The definition of ‘true’ VATS has also been under scrutiny, with a number of previous studies being considered ‘mini-thoracotomy lobectomy’ rather than VATS lobectomy. We hereby examine the literature on true VATS lobectomy, with a particular focus on comparative studies that directly compared VATS lobectomy with conventional open lobectomy.