Sleeve resection is complex airway procedure performed for treatment of central lung cancer. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia with lung isolation. Typically it is performed through traditional muscle sparing thoracotomy incision. The pulmonary artery and pulmonary vein that are associated with the lobe is isolated and divided using a stapler. The main airway proximal to the lobe and the distal to the lobe are resected. Once negative surgical margin is achieved, the airway is reconstructed using sutures. The mediastinal the lymph nodes are dissected out and a chest tube is placed in the chest cavity.
Sleeve resection is a very safe and effective treatment for lung cancer. However, in the presenc of adhesions or variation in anatomy, this method may become dangerous and your surgeon may need to make the prudent decision to continue by making the traditional incision to safely complete the operation. Complication from the surgery include bleeding, infection (such as pneumonia and wound infection), atrial fibrillation, persistent air leak and injury to surrounding structures. Additional uncommon complication of this surgery is breakdown of the anastomosis of the airway. Other rare risks are respiratory insufficiency, myocardial infarction, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary emboli and stroke.
Typically patients are in the hospital for 5 to 7 days after the surgery. The chest tube is removed once there are no air leak from the chest tube and minimal drainage. Once the chest tube is removed and the patient’s pain is well controlled on oral pain medication, patient is discharged home.