Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Rare and frequent postoperative complications after combined pneumonectomy for nonsmall-cell lung cancer


The rate and structure of postoperative complications after combined pneumonectomy for non small-cell lung cancer depends not only from character of disease, but also because of features of performing operations.


The study includes 686 patients who underwent pneumonectomy for primary non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from 2003 through 2012. There were male – 609 (88, 8%), female – 77 (11,2%). Squamous cell and adenocarcinoma were found in 492 (72%) and 145 (21%) patients, respectively. Right side pneumonectomy was performed at 337 patients, left side – at 349 patients. The combined pneumonectomy was performed at 144 patients (21%): with pericardial resection – 75, wedge carinal resection – 40, circular carinal resection – 12, resection of upper cava vein – 13, of esophagus – 7, of vagus - 7, of costa – 5, of left atrium – 3, of diaphragm – 2, pleurectomy – 2, resection of aortic wall – 1.


In structure of complications the most frequent was bronchopleural fistula – 29 patients (4, 2%), mortality was – 34, 5%. Right side fistula observed in 3 times more often than left sided. After carinal resection frequency of bronchopleural fistula was 9, 6%, mortality – 80%. Another complications were: cardiorespiratory insufficiency – 9 patients (1, 3%), intrapleural bleeding – 8 (1, 2%), hemothorax - 3(0,4%), pulmonary embolism - 6(0,9%), cerebral stroke - 3(0,4%). Rare complications, those we have also observed, were: cardiac dislocation occurred after intrapericardial right pneumonectomy with extended pericardioectomy (1 patient), chylothorax (1 patient), mesenteric thrombosis (1 patient), and spontaneous rupture of the esophagus (1 patient). The general rate of complications was 9,5%, mortality – 4,2%.


So, bronchopleural fistula is the most frequent complication after combined pneumonectomy for nonsmall-cell lung cancer. Variety of other complications depends from severity of disease and volume of primary operation.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to A Benyan.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( ) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lyas, N., Khurnin, V., Pushkin, S. et al. Rare and frequent postoperative complications after combined pneumonectomy for nonsmall-cell lung cancer. J Cardiothorac Surg 8 (Suppl 1), P134 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: