Transition from multiportal video-assisted thoracic surgery to uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery… and evolution to uniportal robotic-assisted thoracic surgery?
The greatest disruptive innovation in lung cancer surgery in modern times has been the switch from open thoracotomy to video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS). More recently, the transition from multiportal VATS (MVATS) to uniportal VATS (UVATS) has represented another mini-advance in reducing surgical access trauma. In the search for the next breakthrough in lung cancer surgery, a number of promising candidates have emerged, including screening, sublobar resections, 3D technology, enhanced peri-operative care pathways, ablative therapy and multi-modality management. However, could the way forwards be simply a further minimization of surgical access trauma, and could this be achieved by uniportal robotic surgery? Emergence of a ‘winning’ candidate will depend on a systematic evaluation of the evidence for the benefits and costs of each.