Incidence, Management, and Outcomes of Intraoperative Catastrophes During Robotic Pulmonary Resection.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Annals of thoracic surgery


Aged; Female; Humans; Incidence; Intraoperative Complications; Lung Neoplasms; Male; Middle Aged; Pneumonectomy; Retrospective Studies; Robotic Surgical Procedures; Treatment Outcome


BACKGROUND: Intraoperative catastrophes during robotic anatomical pulmonary resections are potentially devastating events. The present study aimed to assess the incidence, management, and outcomes of these intraoperative catastrophes for patients with primary lung cancers.

METHODS: This was a retrospective, multiinstitutional study that evaluated patients who underwent robotic anatomical pulmonary resections. Intraoperative catastrophes were defined as events necessitating emergency thoracotomy or requiring an additional unplanned major surgical procedure. Standardized data forms were collected from each institution, with questions on intraoperative management strategies of catastrophic events.

RESULTS: Overall, 1810 patients underwent robotic anatomical pulmonary resections, including 1566 (86.5%) lobectomies. Thirty-five patients (1.9%) experienced an intraoperative catastrophe. These patients were found to have significantly higher clinical TNM stage (P = .031) and lower forced expiratory volume in 1 second (81% vs 90%; P = .004). A higher proportion of patients who had a catastrophic event underwent preoperative radiotherapy (8.6% vs 2.3%; P = .048), and the surgical procedures performed differed significantly compared with noncatastrophic patients. Patients in the catastrophic group had higher perioperative mortality (5.7% vs 0.5%; P = .018), longer operative duration (195 minutes vs 170 minutes; P = .020), and higher estimated blood loss (225 mL vs 50 mL; P < .001). The most common catastrophic event was intraoperative hemorrhage from the pulmonary artery, followed by injury to the airway, pulmonary vein, and liver. Detailed management strategies were discussed.

CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of catastrophic events during robotic anatomical pulmonary resections was low, and the most common complication was pulmonary arterial injury. Awareness of potential intraoperative catastrophes and their management strategies are critical to improving clinical outcomes.

Clinical Institute



Swedish Thoracic Surgery


Pulmonary Medicine