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BENCHMARKS: Mortality rate after lung cancer surgery

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons maintains a General Thoracic Surgery Database (GTSD), which keeps track of patients through the first 30 days after surgery.  In this study of records for over 26,000 patients, a link was made with Medicare data for patients aged 65 and older to see what happened over a longer period – 90 days.  The most common lung cancer resection surgery was found to be the lobectomy, which was performed for about two-thirds of the patients who were studied.  The next most common procedure was a wedge resection, which was performed in nearly 20 percent of patients studied.  These were the mortality rates found:

Surgical Mortality for the Lobectomy Cancer Surgery

  • 2.4 percent operative mortality
  • 4.3 percent mortality within 90 days of surgery

The cancer surgery procedure that was found to have the highest mortality at 90 days was pneumonectomy – at nearly 16 percent.  Experts who commented on this study noted the value of having data further out than 30 days, the challenge of having linked the GTSD with the Medicare data, and the fact that these outcomes represent data from the best surgeons at the best centers in the world.

Source: Fernandez, F.G., and others. (2016). Longitudinal follow-up of lung cancer resection from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons General Thoracic Surgery database in patients 65 years and older. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 101, 2067-2072. Click here: http://www.annalsthoracicsurgery.org/article/S0003-4975%2816%2930136-9/pdf   Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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