Videothoracoscopic wedge excision of the lung

Daniel L. Miller, Mark S. Allen, Victor F. Trastek, Claude Deschamps, Peter C. Pairolero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Recent advances in video technology and endoscopic instrumentation have expanded the use of thoracoscopy from diagnosis to treatment of pulmonary parenchymal disease. We recently performed 14 pulmonary wedge excisions using Videothoracoscopic techniques in 10 patients (7 women and 3 men). Median age was 60 years (range, 21 to 82 years). Indications were small peripheral solitary pulmonary nodules in 4 patients, diffuse pulmonary infiltrates in 4, and recurrent pneumothoraces in 2. Thoracoscopic wedge excisions were accomplished using double-lumen endotracheal anesthesia and a percutaneous stapling device. Tissue diagnosis was obtained in all patients; 6 had benign disease, 3 had metastatic cancer, and 1 had diffuse bronchoalveolar cell carcinoma. Median operating time was 90 minutes (range, 40 to 140 minutes). There were no operative deaths. The single complication was a prolonged air leak. Median hospitalization was 5 days (range, 3 to 16 days). All patients returned to full activity within 10 days of discharge. Median follow-up was 6 months (range, 5 to 8 months). We conclude that videothoracoscopic wedge excision is a safe and effective procedure for selected small peripheral indeterminate pulmonary nodules, diffuse interstitial lung diseases, and recurrent spontaneous pneumothoraces. Further evaluation and prospective studies are indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-414
Number of pages5
JournalThe Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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