Quality of life after anterior mediastinal mass resection : a prospective study comparing open with robotic-assisted thoracoscopic resection
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
European journal of cardiothoracic surgery. - Berlin
, p. 543-548
University of Antwerp
Objective: To prospectively evaluate quality of life (QoL) evolution after robotic-assisted thoracoscopic or open anterior mediastinal tumour resection with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QoL Questionnaire-C30 and the lung cancer-specific module, LC-13. Methods: From January 2004 to December 2008, QoL was prospectively recorded in all patients undergoing surgery for mediastinal tumours. A total of 14 patients underwent thoracoscopic resection using the da Vinci robotic system (Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Mountain View, CA, USA), and 22 patients open resection through sternotomy. Questionnaires were administered before surgery and 1, 3, 6 and 12 months, postoperatively, with response rates of 100%, 86.1%, 94.4%; 75.0% and 86.1%, respectively. Results: Both approaches had comparable preoperative patients characteristics and QoL subscales. Open resection by sternotomy was characterised by a significant decrease in general functioning 1 month after surgery (physical functioning p = 0.001, role functioning p = 0.001, and social functioning p = 0.044). Patients also complained of increased thoracic pain in the first 3 months after surgery (p = 0.017). After a da Vinci robotic resection QoL scores approximated baseline preoperative values 1 month after surgery, with the exception of increase in thoracic and shoulder pain the first 3 months after surgery (p = 0.028 and 0.029, respectively). Conclusions: Numerous techniques have been published with different degrees of invasiveness, generating the existing controversy as to which is the best surgical approach for anterior mediastinal tumours. The high burden of decreased physical functioning reported after sternotomy is not seen after a da Vinci robotic-assisted thoracoscopic resection. The initial experience and postoperative QoL data are excellent and, therefore, the da Vinci robot will stay our future technique of choice for the treatment of resectable mediastinal tumours smaller than 4 cm on imaging techniques.