Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery bronchial sleeve lobectomy
A sleeve lobectomy (SL) is considered a valid option instead of a pneumonectomy in patients affected by central non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In the last few years, the improvement of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has allowed experienced surgeons to carry out this challenging operation by a minimally invasive approach. A full pre-operative assessment enclosing a flexible fiber-optic bronchoscopy evaluation and a multidisciplinary team discussion of the clinical case must be accomplished. There is no strictly an indication for the number of thoracoscopic ports: VATS SL is reported from 1 to 3–4 incisions. A significant variability in the technique of the anastomosis is documented and depends on the personal use and ability of the surgeon. However the operational principles are the same of an open SL: free bronchial margins at the frozen section examination, tension-free anastomosis, avoid luminal disparity and en-bloc resection. Due to the extent of the tumour, VATS SL can be associated to other complex resections like arterioplasty, or double sleeve (bronchial and artery) mainly on the left side. A patient underwent a VATS SL must be enrolled in an enhanced recovery pathway (ERP): physiological rehabilitation is a key point to achieve good outcomes and avoid complications.