Doctor promotes new lung surgery technique

July 2, 2007

A surgeon at the University of Cincinnati says medical schools should integrate minimally invasive lung surgery into their training programs.

A report by Dr. Michael Reed, assistant professor of surgery at UC and a thoracic surgeon at University Hospital, said the procedure --known as a thoracoscopic lobectomy-- is done through several small incisions and results in faster recovery time and less pain for patients.

"Thoracoscopic lobectomy should be considered the standard of care for patients with early-stage lung cancers," Reed said Friday in a release. "But few surgeons offer the procedure because it's difficult and requires a lot of additional training."

The university said about 10 percent of all lung cancer operations nationwide are done with minimally invasive techniques, but more than half the patients who need the surgery would qualify for the less invasive procedure, which results in faster recovery time and less pain for patients.

Reed said about 75 percent of all lobectomies at University Hospital are now done using the minimally invasive approach.

He presented the findings of his report Friday at the Western Thoracic Surgical Association's annual meeting in Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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