Lobe-sparing resection of multiple pulmonary metastases with a new 1318-nm Nd:YAG laser first 100 patients

Axel Rolle, Rainer Koch, Scott K. Alpard, Joseph B. Zwischenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background. A new 1318-nm Nd:YAG laser has been developed to utilize the second wavelength (1318 nm; 40 watt) to more precisely cut, coagulate, and seal lung tissue adjacent to pulmonary nodules. This laser allows a precise intraparenchymal nodulectomy with a 5-mm rim of tissue destruction and subsequent lung parenchymal reapproximation to avoid lobar distortion. Resection of multiple, bilateral, and recurrent tumors in the lung is facilitated by this laser technique. Methods. In 100 consecutive patients (53 men, mean age 60 years; 47 women, mean age 61 years) with various primaries (most commonly renal and colorectal), 155 laser resections were performed via anterolateral thoracotomy (staged 3 to 4 weeks, if bilateral) using a new 1318-nm Nd:YAG laser. All palpable and visible masses were removed with 2 to 3-mm visible tumor margins (plus a 5-mm rim of residual lung necrosis secondary to laser energy dispersal) if the tumor or residual lung ratio was judged favorable. No stapling devices or bioadhesives were used. Results. Six hundred thirty-two metastases (6.3 per patient, range 1 to 124) were resected. Despite 41% centrally located metastases, tumor resections were possible in 95% of patients with only a 5% lobectomy rate. Of the 100 patients, 67 were considered "curative" with complete metastasectomy by inspection and palpation, and 23 were judged incomplete from too extensive tumor or residual lung, miliary lung spread, or pleural studding. There were no associated mortalities and two complications, including bleeding (1) and a prolonged airleak (1), both treated conservatively. Follow-up was complete in all patients for a median of 26.5 months with clinic visits and chest computed tomographic scan every 3 to 6 months. Nine recurrences were detected and underwent reoperation. Overall survival in the completely resected "curative" group was 85% at 1 year, 71% at 2 years, 69% at 3 years, 57% at 4 years, and 32% at 5 years; in the completely resected "palliative" group, they were 70% at 1 year, 36% at 2 years, 12% at 3 years, and 0 at 4 years; in the incomplete group, they were 56% at 1 year, 30% at 2 years, and 0 at 3 years. Conclusions. The new 1318-nm Nd:YAG laser is parenchyma-sparing, improves complete resection rates, and potentially improves survival with fewer required lobectomies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-869
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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