Tracheal sleeve pneumonectomy: Long-term outcome

Giancarlo Roviaro, Contardo Vergani, Marco MacIocco, Federico Varoli, Massimo Francese, Luca Despini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Selected primary lung cancers less than 2 cm from the carina or invading the tracheo-bronchial angle, formerly considered inoperable, can be amenable to tracheal sleeve pneumonectomy (TSP). Such a delicate technique, can entail remarkable post-operative morbidity and mortality, and only few clinical series are reported. Purpose of this paper is to examine complications and long-term survival of our personal series and those reported in literature. At our academic department from 1983 to December 2004, out of 99 patients with NSCLC less than 2 cm from the carina, 35 (35.4%) were deemed inoperable after conventional staging; the remaining 64 underwent surgery. Since 1993 in every patient with lung cancer we perform a thoracoscopic exploration as the first step of the intervention. Unexpected causes of inoperability were found at thoracotomy in nine patients (14.1%) and at thoracoscopy in two other patients. Of the remaining 53 patients, 52 had a right TSP and one a left TSP. Intraoperative mortality was nil. Perioperative mortality was 7.5%. Major complications occurred in 11.3% of the patients. Thirty (56.6) patients are alive and disease-free 23-97 months after surgery; for 18 (33.4%) of these, more than 5 years have elapsed after the operation. TSP is the only concrete option for treating lung cancer originating less than 2 cm from the carina. The review of our experience and of other reported series suggests that, with careful selection of patients and meticulous surgical technique, operative mortality and complications are acceptable. Long-term survival and prognosis are encouraging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Carinal pneumonectomy
  • Carinal resection
  • Lung cancer
  • Pneumonectomy
  • Tracheal sleeve pneumonectomy
  • Tracheal sleeve resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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