Nodal upstaging: effects of instrumentation and three-dimensional view in clinical stage I lung cancer
Nodal upstaging after surgical intervention for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is defined as the presence of unsuspected pathologic hilar (pN1) or mediastinal (pN2) disease detected during the final histopathologic evaluation of surgical specimens. The prevalence of pathologic nodal upstaging is used as a quality measure for the definition of the completeness of the nodal dissection. Risk factors for nodal upstaging may be patient-related (history of tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes mellitus), or tumor-related (central tumor, higher T stage, higher SUVmax value, or adenocarcinoma). Actually, the theorical superiority of a minimally invasive resections is the lymph node dissection. Studies may suggest that, expert video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) surgeon could do similar lymph node dissection as it is done in open. Robotic surgeons may replicate the results of lymph node dissection in the open techniques. The possible reason for this is the instrumental superiority provided by the higher technology.