Hemi-clamshell approach for advanced primary lung cancer

Mitsunori Ohta, H. Hirabayasi, H. Shiono, M. Minami, H. Maeda, N. Sawabata, G. Matsumiya, S. Miyoshi, H. Matsuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The hemi-clamshell approach provides a wide anterior view of the mediastinum, apical dome, and cervicothoracic area. However, only a few reports have been made regarding this technique. Methods: The hemi-clamshell approach was used in 24 patients, of whom 5 had a Pancoast tumor, 15 had mediastinal involvement, and 4 underwent mediastinal lymphadenopathy for left-sided lung cancer. Twenty-one of the patients received preoperative therapy. Results: Twenty-one operations were complete resections. In addition, 12 patients received cardio-vascular reconstruction and 5 a first rib resection. Postoperative major morbidity was 21% (6/24) and mortality was 4.2% (1/24). Nine patients died of systemic tumor relapse and 14 patients were alive after a median follow-up of 24 months (range 3-68 months) following the initial therapy. The 5-year survival rate of patients with mediastinal involvement was 37% and that of 13 patients with postoperative stage I or II was 35%. Conclusions: The hemi-clamshell approach provides a wide exposure allowing a safe and complete removal of lung cancer that involves the mediastinum and apical thoracic dome, leading to a better long-term survival rate for patients with this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-205
Number of pages6
JournalThoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Hemi-clamshell approach
  • Lung cancer
  • Mediastinal invasion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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