Complete resection of neoplasms involving the carina are technically challenging and have high operative morbidity and mortality. This study examines the last 2 decades of clinical experience at our institution. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed between 1997 and 2017 to identify all patients who underwent carinal resection. Primary outcome measures include risk factors for complications and overall survival. In total, 45 carinal resections were performed with a median follow-up of 3.4 years (interquartile range 0.8-8.5). Procedures included 21 neocarinal reconstructions (48%), 14 right carinal pneumonectomies (30%), 9 left carinal pneumonectomies (20%), and 1 carinal plus lobar resection (2%). Age ranged from 27 to 74 years, and 23 of 45 patients were female. Eight received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and 6 preoperative radiation. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and cardiopulmonary bypass were intraoperatively used for 4 patients with no mortality. Four patients underwent superior vena cava resection and reconstruction. Anastomotic complications occurred in 5 patients, all of which were managed conservatively: 1 required stent placement and a second underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Postoperative events were observed in 26 patients (58%), including pneumonia (n = 11), blood transfusion (n = 8), and atrial arrhythmias (n = 8). More serious complications, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, occurred in 3 patients. Postoperative events were most closely associated with pulmonary resection (P = .040). There were 3 deaths, yielding an overall operative 30- and 90-day mortality of 6.8% and 7%, respectively. Despite advances in perioperative management, carinal resection poses challenges for both patient and surgeon. Preoperative chemotherapy, radiation, and concomitant pulmonary resection were associated with increased risk of complications. Patient selection and meticulous surgical technique contribute to reduction in morbidity and mortality.

Costantino, Geller, Wright, Ott, Muniappan, Mathisen, Lanuti (2018). Carinal surgery: A single-institution experience spanning 2 decades. The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, 2018 Dec;():. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30709673