VATS lobectomy rate now at 30%

June 23, 2015

The provisional 2013-14 SCTS returns for thoracic surgery are now available. We have received data from 3 Scottish units, 28 English, 2 Welsh, 1 Northern Irish and 1 in the Republic of Ireland. 1 English and 4 Republic of Ireland units that have previously submitted data have not yet done so for this audit year.
An initial analysis shows that the proportion of lobectomies for lung cancer performed by a minimal access (“keyhole”) approach has increased. 30% of these operations were performed by VATS, an increase from 23% in 2012-13. This is the highest rate of minimal access lobectomy that we have ever recorded.
The in-hospital mortality rate for common lung cancer operations has remained broadly static. Pneumonectomy is at 5.9% from 5.0%, open lobectomy is unchanged at 2.0% and thoracoscopic lobectomy mortality is down slightly at 0.7% from 1.0%. Thoracoscopic sublobar resections for lung cancer carried a mortality risk of 0.18%.