Apollo Cancer Centres at Theynampet has recently performed a new minimally invasive procedure of tubeless video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS).
The 15-year-old patient was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma of left femur, a very rare form of cancerous tumour that grows in bones or the soft tissue around bones, such as cartilage or the nerves. It typically affects people from 10 to 20 years of age. The patient was treated in a hospital in Bangladesh where he underwent several chemotherapy sessions for the tumour. He also had a fracture of the same left lower limb earlier in 2020 and was stabilised.
The patient then gradually developed metastatic lumps in the upper lobe of his left lung. Metastatic tumours in the lungs are cancers that developed in other parts of the human body and spread via the bloodstream to the lungs. Common tumours that spread to the lungs include breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, sarcoma, bladder cancer, and neuroblastoma.
In December 2020, he was brought to Apollo Cancer Centre, Chennai for further investigation and care when the cancer was found to have spread to many spots in the upper lobe of his left lung. The patient was recommended to undergo tubeless VATS procedure considering his previous health complications. The surgery was performed to remove his lung metastasis nodule without inserting any tube into his body cavity.
The procedure was carried out successfully and the patient was discharged the next day. The technique has been performed for the first time in India to treat lung cancer cases.
Similarly, in 2016, a 23-year-old patient diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his left thigh was treated with chemotherapy followed by limb salvage surgery removing the tumour in the year. He was affected with COVID-19 virus in 2020 and a large left lower lobe lung mass of approximately 10X8cm was diagnosed with cancer during that time.
An operation was not possible due to COVID-19 infection and chemotherapy was provided to the patient. The tumour size remained static, even with several sessions of chemotherapy. In January 2021, the patient was brought to Apollo cancer centre, doctors identified that cancer had spread to both his lungs covering one in the right lower lobe, one left upper lobe and two left lower lobe causing bilateral lung metastasis. The patient underwent bilateral VATS metastasectomy, which also included left lower lobe of the lung lobectomy.
“It was a challenge that he had metastasis on both his lungs..The patient recovered within two days post-surgery and got discharged in stable condition,” Dr Khader Hussain, Consultant Thoracic Oncologist, Apollo Cancer Centre
Tubeless VATS procedure has become a game-changer in the treatment of lung cancer as it provides better and quicker recovery in patients with extreme complications and could be performed even as day surgery in certain patients.
Speaking about the procedure Dr Abhijith Das, Consultant Thoracic Oncologist, Apollo Cancer Centre, said, “Tubeless VATS technique has multiple advantages over the conventional procedure. It is minimally invasive which means it is less painful, minimal loss of blood and recovery is quicker. The technique also demonstrates minimal effect on the patient’s immune status, which is a definite improvement over an open surgery. In this procedure, the chances of post-operative infections and complications are lesser. Problems associated with intubation, chest drainage and urinary catheterisation can also be avoided through tubeless VATS.”