Dissection of lung parenchyma using electrocautery is a safe and acceptable method for anatomical sublobar resection

Takashi Ohtsuka, Taichiro Goto, Masaki Anraku, Mitsutomo Kohno, Yotaro Izumi, Hirohisa Horinouchi, Hiroaki Nomori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Anatomic sublobar resection is being assessed as a substitute to lobectomy for primary lung cancers. However, persistent air leak after anatomic sublobar resection is prevalent and increasing surgical morbidity and costs. The use of electrocautery is being popularized recently in anatomic sublobar resection. We have retrospectively evaluated the safety and efficacy of intersegmental plane dissection using electrocautery.Methods: Between April 2009 to September 2010, 47 patients were treated with segmentectomy for clinical T1N0M0 non-small cell lung cancers. The intersegmental plane was dissected using electrocautery alone or in combination with staplers. We evaluated the methods of dividing intersegmental plane (electrocautery alone or combination with electrocautery and staplers), intraoperative blood loss, duration of chest tube placement, duration of surgery, preoperative FEV 1.0 %, incidence of prolonged air leak, length of postoperative hospital stay, postoperative pulmonary function at 6 months after surgery and the cost for sealing intersegmental plane.Results: Among the 47 patients, 22 patients underwent intersegmental plane dissection with electrocautery alone and 25 patients did in combination with electrocautery and staplers. The mean number of stapler cartridges used was only 1.3 in electrocautery and staplers group. Mean age, gender, number of patients whose FEV 1% < 70 % were similar between two groups. There was no statistical difference between electrocautery alone and combination with electrocautery and staplers group in duration of surgery (282 vs. 290 minutes), intraoperative blood loss (203 vs.151 ml), duration of chest tube placement (3.2 vs. 3.1 days), postoperative hospital stay (11.0 vs.10.0 days), postoperative loss of FEV 1.0 (13 vs.8 %), loss of FVC (11 vs. 6 %) or incidence of minor postoperative complications [9 % (2/22) vs. 16 % (4/25), p = 0.30)]. However, incidence of prolonged air leak was higher in electrocautery alone group than in combination with electrocautery and staplers group [14 % (3/22) vs. 4 % (1/25), p = 0.025)]. The cost of materials for sealing air leaks amounted to €964 per patient in the electrocautery alone group and €1594 per patient in combination with electrocautery and staplers group.Conclusions: The number of patients with prolonged air leak was higher in the electrocautery alone group. The use of staplers in addition to electrocautery may lead to reduced prolonged air leak. However, the use of electrocautery for intersegmental plane dissection appeared to be safe with acceptable postoperative complications and effective in reducing costs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42
JournalJournal of cardiothoracic surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May 3
Externally publishedYes


  • Lung tissue sealing
  • Pulmonary segmentectomy
  • Stapling devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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