Purpose: We evaluated the invasiveness of videothoracoscopy-assisted mini-posterolateral thoracotomy (VAmPLT) for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: This study prospectively analyzed 50 NSCLC patients who underwent VAmPLT lobectomy. We measured maximal negative inspiratory pressure (PImax), maximal positive expiratory pressure (PEmax), quadriceps strength (QS), 6-min walk test (6mWT), and postoperative pain during the perioperative period. We then compared the results of the 6mWT and the postoperative pain of the VAmPLT lobectomy patients with those of a control group of 50 NSCLC patients who underwent standard posterolateral thoracotomy (PLT) techniques just prior to implementation of the VAmPLT lobectomy. Results: The PImax and PEmax at the baseline, then on postoperative days (PODs) 1, 7, and 14 were 125% ± 5% and 120% ± 4%, 69% ± 4% and 62% ± 4%, 115% ± 5% and 100% ± 4%, and 123% ± 4%, and 110% ± 4%, respectively. The QS at the baseline, then on PODs 7 and 14 was 138% ± 5%, 129% ± 6%, and 133% ± 5%, respectively. Improvement from the baseline was seen in PImax by POD 7, and in PEmax and QS by POD 14. The 6mWT results and the level of postoperative pain after VAmPLT lobectomy were superior to those after PLT. Conclusions: The advantages of VAmPLT lobectomy over PLT include less postoperative pain and earlier recovery of physical function.
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