Objectives: Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has emerged as a safe and efficacious alternative approach to conventional thoracotomy for selected patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. The aim of the present study was to assess the current clinical practice of VATS among the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) members. Methods: A standardized questionnaire was sent to thoracic surgeons on the ESTS mailing list, with collection of data on demographics, use of multiportal or uniportal VATS, institutional experience with VATS procedures and proportion of operations performed by different approaches. Analysis was performed using SPSS statistical software. Results: Complete questionnaire results were collected from 100 unique institutions in 31 countries, representing data on the clinical practice of 461 board-certified thoracic surgeons. Three hundred and twenty-four of the 461 (70%) surgeons claimed to perform anatomical VATS resections, with a total estimated caseload of 9519 resections per year. Two hundred and thirty-one (50%) surgeons reported to have performed lobectomies primarily through the VATS approach. The case volume was significantly correlated to the number (P = 0.019) and proportion (P = 0.001) of surgeons who performed VATS anatomical resections. Overall, 47% of the centres performing anatomical VATS resections reported some use of uniportal approach. There was no association between the number of thoracic surgeons within an institution and the likelihood of performing uniportal VATS lobectomy. Conclusions: Compared to previous surveys, results of the present European study suggested that there is a strong trend favouring VATS for a range of thoracic procedures in the current clinical setting. However, the use of uniportal VATS is still not yet widespread. The evolving adoption of VATS in Europe should be further assessed with regard to clinical outcomes in the form of large standardized registries.
- European Society of Thoracic Surgeons
- Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery