Publication Abstract

Authors: Smith CB, Wolf A, Mhango G, Wisnivesky JP

Title: Impact of Surgeon Volume on Outcomes of Older Stage I Lung Cancer Patients Treated via Video-assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery.

Journal: Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 29(2):223-230

Date: 2017 Summer

Abstract: Surgeon procedure volume influences outcomes of patients undergoing cancer operations. Limited data are available, however, on the volume-outcome relationship for video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In this study, we used population-based data to evaluate the extent to which surgeon volume is associated with postoperative and long-term oncological outcomes following VATS resection for older patients with early-stage NSCLC. Stage I NSCLC patients >65 years treated with VATS wedge, segmentectomy, or lobectomy between 2000 and 2010 were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry linked to Medicare. Surgeon volume was grouped into tertiles (low, intermediate, and high). Outcomes included perioperative complications, intensive care unit admission, extended length of stay, perioperative (30-day) mortality, and long-term overall and lung cancer-specific survival. We used propensity score methods to compare adjusted survival of patients by surgical volume group. A total of 2295 study patients were identified. Patients treated by high-volume surgeons had decreased intensive care unit admissions (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.46, 95% CI: 0.41-0.51) and postoperative length of stay (HR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.61-0.92). Adjusted analyses showed that overall (HR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.62-0.87) and lung cancer-specific (HR: 0.76, 95% CI: 0.58-0.99) survival was better for patients treated by high-volume surgeons. Elderly stage I NSCLC patients undergoing VATS by high-volume surgeons have reduced postoperative complications and improved survival. Organization of care favoring referrals of VATS candidates to high-volume providers may help improve the outcomes of patients with early-stage lung cancer.