Lung segmentectomy is an option for the treatment of noninvasive or minimally invasive lung cancer. For tumors located in the left upper division (LUD), LUD trisegmentectomy (S1+2 + S3) is frequently performed as a sublobar resection because of its technical simplicity. However, the differences in surgical outcomes between simple and complex segmentectomies remain unclear.
We compared the surgical outcomes and frequency of postoperative complications of LUD trisegmentectomy (simple group) with those of complex segmentectomy (other than LUD trisegmentectomy; complex group) for pulmonary lesions using three-dimensional computed tomography between 2010 and 2021.
In total, 118 patients were included: 65 in the simple group and 53 in the complex group (S1+2: 25, S3: 15, others: 13). There were no significant differences in surgical time or duration of postoperative chest drainage. However, the blood loss volume was significantly smaller in the complex group than in the simple group (12 vs. 36 mL, p = 0.023), and major complications tended to occur less frequently in the complex group than in the simple group (3.8 vs. 13.8%, p = 0.061). Among patients who underwent intentional segmentectomy for primary lung cancer (n = 61), major complications were significantly less common in the complex group (p = 0.006).
Complex segmentectomy can be performed safely under the guidance of three-dimensional CT. Complex segmentectomy itself is not a risk factor for postoperative complications when the intersegmental planes are sufficiently recognized and accurately cut.