Background. Minimal resection of small lung tumors is still controversial. This study was conducted to clarify whether this type of operation is acceptable. Methods. From January 1992 to December 1994, 73 patients were registered in a multiinstitutional trial of limited resection for peripheral lung tumors less than 2 cm in diameter. The operative procedure consisted of extended segmentectomy in which the cut line of the lung was beyond the burdened segment, confirming NO disease by intraoperative lymph node examination of frozen sections. The operation was changed to other procedures if the report was positive. Results. All the patients were observed more than 5 years. There were no perioperative deaths and no major complications. A total of 55 patients were finally enrolled in this study. Ten patients died postoperatively, 4 of lung cancer and the remaining 6 died of other diseases, with no signs of recurrence. The 5-year survival rate, excluding these 6 patients, was 91.8%; for all patients including those who died it was 81.8%. A total of 18 patients were not included in this study for various reasons. The decrease in forced vital capacity was 11.3% ± 9.8% compared with the preoperative value. Conclusions. Extended segmentectomy is an alternative method as a standard operation for patients with small peripheral lung tumors, and the loss of lung function is minimal. However, patient selection must be strict, with intraoperative pathologic examination, and a wide margin to the lesion beyond the burdened segment is mandatory. © 2002 by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
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