Lung cancer surgery through a single incision

Written by: Dr. Sergio Bolufer Nadal
Edited by: Patricia Pujante Crespo

Surgery "single-incision VATS" for lung cancer, or surgery through a single incision, is not the future but the present, and favors a much less painful for the patient after surgery, facilitating recovery.

Lung cancer: what is and prevalence has

Lung cancer is the most common malignant tumor and cancer that causes more deaths each year worldwide. Hence lies the importance of making progress in understanding the disease, as well as early diagnosis, with the intention of providing the best possible treatment and improve the quality of life of patients.

Lung cancer is a severe disease, whose main risk factor remains currently smoking, while it is true that there are cases of lung cancer in which the patient has not had primary exposure to snuff. We must remember that this disease, like any other malignancy, has a significant genetic component that affects a wide variability of subtypes.


Treatment options for lung cancer by state

The treatment of lung cancer in advanced stages, when the tumor is spread to lymph nodes or other organs, is the administration of q uimioterapia and / or radiation therapy, and the use of new biological therapeutic agents such monoclonal antibodies. Unfortunately, these advances have not yet achieved the desired increase survival of these patients in advanced stage mode.

In tumors that are at an early stage, surgery is the treatment option with better results, being necessary, at least the removal of the lung lobes where the tumor (anatomical divisions of the lung), or even lungs staying integers and lymph nodes surrounding the lung, as these are one of the main routes of extension.

Innovation and progress have come to the surgery, with the development of "video - assisted thoracic surgery or VATS". Until few years, surgery lung cancer consisted in making large incisions between 25 and 30 cm (thoracotomy), pulling the ribs by bulky metal standoffs producing significant pain and other sequelae and complications following operation in relation to the aggression of the patient, affecting their quality of life. This approach has been limited to complex cases in which the tumor invades nearby structures or tumors of enormous size.


Video - assisted thoracic surgery or VATS: innovation and advantages for treating lung cancer

Thoracic surgery VATS or VATS is the removal of lobules where cancers or even whole lungs are accommodated by two or three small incisions (most of 5cm) through which chest wall surgeons insert a camera and instruments specific for performing the operation. Thus the massive aggression of the old incisions avoided, reduce complications, improve cosmetic results and the patient recovers from earlier mode and with much less pain on their daily activities, including the workplace. The aim is to perform the same operation with the least possible aggression.

In an effort to continue down the path of minimally invasive and minimal aggression to the patient, experts in Thoracic Surgery have been removing accessory incisions. Thus the same procedure is performed to remove a lung lobe, through a single incision 4cm, in which no separation of the ribs is done. The advantages of this approach are several, especially pain reduction, to be able to perform the intervention affecting only a space between ribs. Patients report minimal pain postoperatively, and this is mainly caused by drainage leading the first 24-48 hours and then is removed. Subsequently, basic painkillers are enough to manage pain at home.

This technique allows reduce operating times, reduce overall hospital stay and the need for analgesics for pain of the poor. It is intended that the patient will suffer the least possible surgical aggression and be able to normalize their usual life so early, thereby reducing suffering and discomfort resulting from major surgery and thoracic surgery, achieving optimal aesthetic results.

In the age of technology and minimally invasive, we offer a new concept of thoracic surgery only available in centers of excellence.


Edited by Patricia Crespo Pujante

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. Sergio Bolufer Nadal
Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery

Dr. Bolufer Nadal is a renowned expert in Thoracic Surgery. With years of experience in the profession and extensive training in centers of national and international prestige, he specializes in the latest techniques of minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Currently he is co-director of the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Alicante (CITMIA) Unit Perpetuo Socorro Hospital in Alicante. Moreover, throughout his career he has combined with teaching medicine, being the guardian of residents of Thoracic Surgery Hospital General Universitario de Alicante and professor of the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery Jesus Uson of Caceres. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and specialty book chapters, and is also a reviewer for the magazine "Spanish Surgery".

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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