Ten-year experience on 644 patients undergoing single-port (Uniportal) video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery

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Background: Uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) technique has been described both for diagnostic and therapeutic indications. Outcomes after uniportal VATS have never been reported in large series. Methods: Between January 2000 and December 2010, 644 uniportal VATS procedures (334 male and 310 female patients; median age, 55.5 years; range, 16 to 85) were performed by a single surgeon. This figure represents 27.7% of all the thoracic surgical procedures in the study period (2,369). Of the 644 uniportal VATS, 329 (51.1%) were diagnostic procedures for pleural conditions. Of the remaining 315 uniportal VATS procedures, 14 (2.2%) were performed for pre-thoracotomy exploration for lung cancer, and 115 (17.8%) for miscellaneous conditions including diagnosis of mediastinal masses. In addition, 186 nonanatomic wedge resections (28.9% of the total uniportal VATS procedures) were performed for pulmonary conditions; of these, 146 were done for pulmonary nodules. Results: Median operative time was 18 and 22 minutes for uniportal VATS for diagnostic non-pulmonary indications and for wedge resections, respectively. Out of 644 patients, conversion to either 2 or 3 port VATS or minithoracotomy was necessary in 3.7% of the patients, often due to incomplete lung collapse (92%). Inclusive of the day of insertion, the chest drain was removed after a median of 4.3 (range, 2 to 20) and 2.4 days (range, 0 to 6) after uniportal VATS for pleural effusions and uniportal VATS lung wedge resections, respectively. Mortality and major morbidity after uniportal VATS was 0.6% and 2.8%, respectively. All deaths reported after uniportal VATS were for pleural effusions. Inclusive of the operative day, median hospitalization after surgery for uniportal VATS for pleural effusions and for wedge resections were 5.3 and 3.4 days, respectively. Conclusions: In our experience, uniportal VATS was performed in one third of our surgical candidates with limited operative time, a very low conversion rate to conventional VATS or minithoracotomy, a very low morbidity and mortality, and, short hospitalization. Uniportal VATS is an underappreciated procedure that can be reliably used in the diagnostic pathways of several intrathoracic conditions and to resect small pulmonary nodules with either diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. As such, uniportal VATS represents a consolidated addition to the surgical armamentarium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-438
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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