OBJECTIVES: Locally advanced lung cancers present a significant challenge to minimally invasive thoracic surgeons. An increasing number of centres have adopted robotic-assisted thoracoscopic surgeries for these complex operations. In this study, we compare surgical margins achieved, conversion rates to thoracotomy, perioperative mortality and 30-day readmission rates for robotic and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy for locally advanced lung cancers. METHODS: Using the National Cancer Database, we identified patients with non-small-cell lung cancer who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy/radiotherapy, had clinical N1/N2 disease or in the absence of these 2 features had a tumour >5 cm treated with either robotic or VATS lobectomy between 2010 and 2016. Perioperative outcomes and conversion rates were compared between robotic and VATS lobectomy. RESULTS: A total of 9512 patients met our inclusion criteria with 2123 (22.3%) treated with robotic lobectomy and 7389 (77.7%) treated with VATS lobectomy. Comparable R0 resections, 30- and 90-day mortality and 30-day readmission rates were observed for robotic and VATS lobectomy while a higher rate of conversion to thoracotomy was observed for VATS (aOR = 1.99, 95% confidence interval = 1.65, 2.39, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis of the National Cancer Database suggests that robotic lobectomy for complex lung resections achieves similar perioperative outcomes and R0 resections as VATS lobectomy with the exception of a lower rate of conversion to thoracotomy.
- Lung cancer
- Robotic surgery