Age is a recognized risk factor for death after thoracotomy in elderly patients with lung cancer. Among other factors, the genesis of this risk is the physiologic debilitation that occurs after division of the intrathoracic respiratory muscles during thoracotomy, as well as the loss of lung tissue after lung resection. Recent advances in video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) techniques provide an alternative to standard thoracotomy in elderly lung cancer patients, resulting in decreased recovery times and fewer perioperative complications. Likewise, smaller lung resections (VATS-guided limited wedge resection versus lobectomy with thoracotomy) can be adequate oncologic procedures in patients with a limited life expectancy but resectable disease. We studied these alternative procedures in a cohort of thoracic surgical patients at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA. Proposed investigations of the psychosocial implications of thoracic surgery in the elderly, irrespective of the safety of these maneuvers, are addressed. © 2003 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Jaklitsch, M. T., Pappas-Estocin, A., & Bueno, R. (2004). Thoracoscopic surgery in elderly lung cancer patients. Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology. Elsevier Ireland Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.critrevonc.2003.08.003