The spectrum of Würzburg University Hospital since this spring is a new, minimally invasive surgical technique for tumors in the lung.

The end of March of this year (FM) removed in John Dederichs at the University Hospital Wurzburg squamous from the right upper lung. For this purpose, led Prof. Thorsten Walles, the Head of Thoracic Surgery of the Franconian large hospital and his medical team by a VAT lobectomy. VAT stands for “Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery and lobectomy is the complete removal of a lung lobe. In this modern keyhole surgery technique, the surgeons perform through a small incision between two ribs a camera into the chest and take two more, also within one to two centimeters long cuts intervention at the Respiratory ago. “Traditionally, we have to open the chest with the back and long sections with strong retractors dilate the ribs to pave the way for us to lung surgeons in lung surgeries,” explains Prof. Walles. “According to a lengthy and often arduous process of healing for the patient.”

Faster recovery after keyhole procedure

Alternatively began in the late 1990s, the development of minimally invasive surgical procedures to the chest. Initially, only small manipulations of the lung could be made. Thanks to the advancement of surgical instruments, the modification of the surgical technique and the increasing surgical experience of the surgeon, it is now possible to globally each lung specialist clinics to perform even large operations with the removal of entire lung lobe via keyhole technique. “The benefits for patients are obvious: less pain, quicker recovery times after surgery and shorter hospital stays,” said Prof. Walles. “And a small incision is cosmetically infinitely nicer than a big one.”


An opportunity for high-risk patients

In particular, so-called high-risk patients, elderly and patients with relevant comorbidities, already benefit from their surgical procedure. This group also includes John Dederichs. “Because of my age and general health I was a patient at risk for major section followed by intensive care unit before I had great fear,” says the 66-year-old. After the successful, first Wurzburg VAT lobectomy on 21 March of this year and subsequent rehabilitation, the retired, former head of a psychosocial device feels good today, stable and grateful. Dederichs: “The medical skill of the operators I can take the concerns of my life into your own hands.”

Up to 40 VAT-lobectomies per year

According to Prof. Walles should for a VAT lobectomy of the tumor with a diameter of less than three centimeters. In addition, the lymph nodes in the lung should not be affected by the tumor. In his estimation, the method can be used at about one in five lung tumor patients in need of extensive lung surgery. The thoracic surgeon reckons: “In 2012, we conducted a total of 430 lung surgeries on FM. In the rapidly evolving upwards patient numbers, there will certainly be more than 600 this year. Since only the early stages of lung cancer and come through other tumors and isolated benign lung changes for the new surgical method in question in individual cases lung metastases, it is expected in the current numbers of patients from each year about 30 to 40 VAT-lobectomy at the Wurzburg University Hospital. ”