Wider implications of video-assisted thoracic surgery versus open approach for lung metastasectomy

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Lung metastasectomy is considered a safe and potentially curative procedure despite there is not a strong evidence that metastasectomy prolongs long-term survival in patients with lung metastases. Moreover, the debate is open regarding the best approach for lung metastasectomy, video-assisted thoracic surgery versus open approach. A systematic review of literature to clarify what is the best approach to prolong survival in patients with lung metastases was performed. Our study confirms that overall survival is equivalent for video-assisted thoracic surgery and thoracotomy, therefore the ‘gold standard’ surgical treatment for lung metastases remains a point of debate. The choice of the surgical approach still depends more on the single center or surgeon practice than on strong scientific evidence. A prospective randomized trial could clarify the question.

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