Decreased in-hospital mortality after lobectomy using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery compared with open thoracotomy

Hem Desai, Bhupinder Natt, Samuel S Kim, Christian Bime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Rationale: There is a paucity of data regarding the optimal surgical approach for lung lobectomy. Lobectomy performed by videoassisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has been associated with lower morbidity as compared with lobectomy performed by thoracotomy. However, no multicenter studies have shown improved mortality with VATS lobectomy compared with open surgical lobectomy. Objectives: We used data from the United States Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample database from 2009 to 2012 to compare VATS with open lobectomy for in-hospital mortality and other short-term outcomes. Methods: We used International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification procedure codes to identify the patients undergoing lobectomy. We used 1:1 ratio propensity matching with the nearest neighbor method without replacement to generate matched pairs. Measurements and Main Results: Over the 4-year period, 27,451 patients underwent lobectomy. The majority of these procedures were performed by thoracotomy (65%) as compared with VATS (35%). A total of 9,393 matched pairs were created. VATS lobectomy was associated with significantly lower in-hospital mortality when compared with thoracotomy (1.3% vs. 2.5%, P, 0.001). A shorter length of hospital stay was observed for those undergoing VATS lobectomy (6.21 vs. 8.75 d, P,0.001). The overall rate of perioperative complications was low, with those undergoing VATS being less likely to have any perioperative morbidity. Conclusions: In recent years, the use of VATS for lobectomy has increased relative to thoracotomy. This trend has coincided with increased survival and shorter length of stay for VATS lobectomy compared with thoracotomy. Further studies are needed to identify comorbidities that identify ideal candidates for VATS lobectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-266
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2017


  • Patient outcomes assessment
  • Thoracotomy
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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