Objective—To describe the use of thoracoscopic-assisted pulmonary surgery (TAPS) for partial and complete lung lobectomy in small animal patients and to evaluate short-term outcome.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—11 client-owned dogs and cats.
Procedures—Medical records of dogs and cats that underwent a partial or complete TAPS lung lobectomy were reviewed. All patients underwent general anesthesia and were positioned in lateral recumbency with the affected hemithorax uppermost. One-lung ventilation was not implemented in any patient. For initial exploration, a 5- to 10-mm incision was made for insertion of a 30° telescope approximately 5 to 7 rib spaces away from the site of the pulmonary lesion in the dorsal third of the thorax. All subsequent incision placements were case dependent and determined by the location of the lesion to be resected. Following lesion localization, a 2- to 7-cm minithoracotomy incision was made with direct thoracoscopic visualization without the use of rigid rib retractors. In 10 of 11 patients, a 360° wound retraction device was placed at the minithoracotomy site prior to exteriorization and resection of the affected lung. Lymph nodes were inspected intraoperatively, but biopsies were not performed; incisions were closed routinely, and a thoracostomy tube was placed in all patients.
Results—3 cats and 8 dogs underwent successful partial (5) or complete (6) TAPS lung lobectomy over a 5-year period (2008 through 2013). Median surgery time was 92.7 minutes (range, 77 to 150 minutes). Thoracostomy tubes were removed a median of 22.3 hours after surgery (range, 18 to 36 hours). The median time to discharge was 3.1 days (range, 1 to 6 days). No intraoperative complications were encountered. All patients were discharged from the hospital, with 9 of 11 patients alive 6 months after surgery.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study suggested that lung lobectomy by means of TAPS can be successfully performed in dogs and cats. When compared with total thoracoscopic surgery, TAPS may offer a more technically feasible approach from both a surgical and anesthetic standpoint, because it provides the benefits of minimally invasive thoracic surgery without the necessity of 1-lung ventilation.