Lung cancer “single-incision VATS” surgery is not the future but the present, and allows a much less painful postoperative recovery.
Non-small cell lung cancer is the most frequent malignant tumor and the one with higher worldwide mortality. The need for significant efforts in the knowledge, early diagnosis is logical, in order to give patients the best option for treatment and improving their quality of life.
Lung cancer is an important disease, and smoking history its main risk factor, although there is a small percentage of patients without smoking history. Genetic considerations have to be considered when assessing a lung cancer patient
Treatment for advanced stage of lung cancer, when regional lymph node or distant organ invasion, usually consists of chemotherapy and /or radiotherapy, sometimes in combination with new biological agents. Unfortunately these advances have not improved overall survival in advanced stages as desired.
In early stage lung cancer, surgery remains the treatment with best results, usually requiring major anatomical lung resections (even whole lungs) and regional lymph node resection (lymphadenectomy)
Surgery has evolved into video-assisted thoracic surgery or VATS procedures. In the past, lung cancer surgery was performed through huge incisions between 25 to 30 cm (open thoracotomy), with rib retraction and significant postoperative pain and sequelae due to the high surgical aggression., worsening patient’s quality of life. This approach has been limited to huge complex tumors requiring advanced resections of neighboring structures.
VATS surgery allows lung resections through 2 to 3 small incisions without rib retraction, assisted by high-definition videocamera. Thus the aggression is reduced, postoperative complications decrease and cosmetic results are much better, so the patient can resume faster his normal life with much less pain. The aim is reducing the aggression for the same procedure.
In an effort of innovation in minimally invasive surgery, we perform the same procedure through a single 4 cm incision without rib retraction. Main advantages are pain reduction due to the suppression of additional incisions/ports of conventional VATS. Patients refer minimal postoperative pain, mainly due to the drainage which is usually removed between 24 to 48 hours. Conventional pain killers are enough for pain relief when discharged home.
This approach reduces surgical times, length of hospital stay and the need of painkillers. We want the patient to be subjected to the least surgical aggression, recovering his daily normal activities as soon as possible, decreasing suffering and discomfort, with excellent cosmetic results.
In the age of technology and minimally invasion, we offer a novel concept in Thoracic Surgery only available in high-level Hospitals.