Comparison of perioperative outcomes of robotic-assisted versus video-assisted thoracoscopic right upper lobectomy in non-small cell lung cancer

Jia Huang, Yu Tian, Qian Jun Zhou, Jun Wei Ning, Ze Nan Gu, Pei Ji Lu, Jian Tao Li, Hao Lin, Tian Xiang Chen, Yun Hai Yang, Min P. Kim, Robert E. Merritt, Marco Ghisalberti, Long Jiang, Qing Quan Luo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) has been widely used in the treatment of lung cancer. The perioperative outcomes of right upper lobectomy (RUL) using RATS and video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) were retrospectively investigated and compared. We aimed to summarize a single-center experience of RATS and 4-port unidirectional VATS in RUL, and to discuss the safety and the essentials of the surgery. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the 685 with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who underwent minimally invasive RUL in our center by the same surgical group from January 2015 to December 2019. Both RATS and VATS were performed with three ports with utility incision. The 685 participants were divided into RATS (335 cases) and VATS (350 cases) groups according to surgical method. Baseline characteristics and perioperative outcomes including dissected lymph nodes, postoperative duration of drainage, postoperative hospital stay, and incidence of postoperative complications were compared between the groups. Results: In the 685 patients enrolled, the baseline characteristics were comparable, and no postoperative 30-day mortality or intraoperative blood transfusion were observed. Compared with VATS, RATS had less surgical duration (90.22±12.16 vs. 92.68±12.26 min, P<0.001), less length of stay (4.71±1.37 vs. 5.26±1.56 days, P<0.001), and decreased postoperative duration of drainage (3.49±1.15 vs. 4.09±1.57 days, P<0.001). No significant difference was observed in the lymph nodes dissection, blood loss, conversion rate and morbidities. The cost of RATS was much higher than VATS (85,329.41±12,893.44 vs. 68,733.43±14,781.32 CNY, P<0.001). Conclusions: Robot assisted RUL had similar perioperative outcomes compared to VATS RUL lobectomy using similar three port with utility incision technique. The advantages of RATS included finer dissection of lymph node, relatively less operation time, earlier chest tube removal and discharge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4549-4557
Number of pages9
JournalTranslational Lung Cancer Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Lobectomy
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
  • Robotic
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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