Subsequent pulmonary resection for bronchogenic carcinoma after pneumonectomy

Jessica S. Donington, Daniel L. Miller, Charles C. Rowland, Claude Deschamps, Mark S. Allen, Victor F. Trastek, Peter C. Pairolero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Background. Patients who have undergone a pneumonectomy for bronchogenic carcinoma are at risk of cancer in the contralateral lung. Little information exists regarding the outcome of subsequent lung operation for lung cancer after pneumonectomy. Methods. The records of all patients who underwent lung resection after pneumonectomy for lung cancer from January 1980 through July 2001 were reviewed. Results. There were 24 patients (18 men and 6 women). Median age was 64 years (range, 43 to 84 years). Median preoperative forced expiratory volume in 1 second was 1.47 L (range, 0.66 to 2.55 L). Subsequent pulmonary resection was performed 2 to 213 months after pneumonectomy (median, 23 months). Wedge excision was performed in 20 patients, segmentectomy in 3, and lobectomy in 1. Diagnosis was a metachronous lung cancer in 14 patients and metastatic lung cancer in 10. Complications occurred in 11 patients (44.0%), and 2 died (operative mortality, 8.3%). Median hospitalization was 7 days (range, 2 to 72 days). Follow-up was complete in all patients and ranged between 6 and 140 months (median, 37 months). Overall 1-, 3-, and 5-year survivals were 87%, 61%, and 40%, respectively. Five-year survival of patients undergoing resection for a metachronous lung cancer (50%) was better than the survival of patients who underwent resection for metastatic cancer (14%; p = 0.14). Five-year survival after a solitary wedge excision was 46% compared with 25% after a more extensive resection (p = 0.54). Conclusions. Limited pulmonary resection of the contralateral lung after pneumonectomy is associated with acceptable morbidity and mortality. Long-term survival is possible, especially in patients with a metachronous cancer. Solitary wedge excision is the treatment of choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-159
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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