Robotic-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for lung resection: the first Canadian series
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BACKGROUND: Robotic surgery was introduced as a platform for minimally invasive lung resection in Canada in October 2011. We present the first Canadian series of robotic pulmonary resection for lung cancer. METHODS: Prospective databases at 2 institutions were queried for patients who underwent robotic resection for lung cancer between October 2011 and June 2015. To examine the effect of learning curves on patient and process outcomes, data were organized into 3 temporal tertiles, stratified by surgeon. RESULTS: A total of 167 consecutive patients were included in the study. Median age was 66 (range 27-88) years, and 46.1% (n = 77) of patients were men. The majority of patients (n = 141, 84%) underwent robotic lobectomy. Median duration of surgery was 270 (interquartile range [IQR] 233-326) minutes, and median length of stay (LOS) was 4 (IQR 3-6) days. Twelve patients (7%) were converted to thoracotomy. Total duration of surgery and console time decreased significantly (p < 0.001) across tertiles, with a steady decline until case 20, followed by a plateau effect. Across tertiles, there was no significant difference in LOS, number of lymph node stations removed, or perioperative complications. CONCLUSION: The results of this case series are comparable to those reported in the literature. A prospective study to examine the outcomes and cost of robotic pulmonary resection compared with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery should be done in the context of the Canadian health care system. We have presented the first consecutive case series of robotic lobectomy in Canada. Outcomes compare favourably to other series in the literature.