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New report highlights variations in approaches to thoracic surgery in the United Kingdom and Ireland
Date:3/21/2008

2002-2005) and provides procedural activity in the following areas:

  • Open and minimally invasive surgery (video assisted thoracic surgery [VATS]);
  • Lung resection with details on activity for primary lung cancer;
  • Pneumothorax surgery; and
  • Oesophagogastric (upper GI) surgery with details on activity for primary oesophagogastric cancer.

Importantly, the report highlights several different approaches to treating thoracic disease, which clearly reflects the differing philosophical approaches to some complex and difficult diseases. For instance, the Registry highlights a clear trend to a reduction in the proportion of pneumonectomies, implying recognition of the dangers associated with the procedure and a better selection of surgical patients.

One of the most important messages from my point of view is that over the years we have got much better at selecting our patients for lung cancer surgery. For instance twenty-five years ago when a patient was taken to theatre for a lung cancer operation there was a one in four chance that the cancer could not be removed - that would seem horrendous by todays standards. This dramatic reduction in the open and close rate for lung cancer operations, implies a better understanding of the place of surgery for lung cancer, especially with more accurate pre-operative staging since the introduction of computed tomography in the late 1980s, added Mr Page.

The report also shows the variations and changes in practice over the years (the majority of procedures for oesophageal cancer are now performed by upper GI surgeons), as well as how technological developments have changed practice. For example, video assisted thoracic surgery procedures, as a proportion of the total workload, increased from approximately 6% in 1981 to nearly 30% in 2004-2005.

The information contained within the report forms the basis of effective clinical governanc
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Press Contact: Owen Haskins, Communications Manager

Email: owen.haskins@e-dendrite.com


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