Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 31, Issue 10, pp 3932–3938 | Cite as

Serial improvement of quality metrics in pediatric thoracoscopic lobectomy for congenital lung malformation: an analysis of learning curve

  • Samina Park
  • Eung Re Kim
  • Yoohwa Hwang
  • Hyun Joo Lee
  • In Kyu Park
  • Young Tae Kim
  • Chang Hyun KangEmail author



Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) pulmonary resection in children is a technically demanding procedure that requires a relatively long learning period. This study aimed to evaluate the serial improvement of quality metrics according to case volume experience in pediatric VATS pulmonary resection of congenital lung malformation (CLM).

Methods VATS anatomical resection in CLM was attempted in 200 consecutive patients. The learning curve for the operative time was modeled by cumulative sum analysis. Quality metrics were used to measure technical achievement and efficiency outcomes.

Results The median operative time was 95 min. The median length of hospital stay and chest tube indwelling time was 4 and 2 days, respectively. The improvement of operation time was observed persistently until 200 cases. However, two cut-off points, the 50th case and 110th case, were identified in the learning curve for operative time, and the 110th case was the turning point for stable outcomes with short operation time. Significant reduction of length of hospital stay and chest tube indwelling time was observed after 50 cases (p = .002 and p = .021, respectively). The complication rate decreased but continued at a low rate for entire study period and the interval decrease was not statistically significant. Conversion rate decreased significantly (p = .001), and technically challenging procedures were performed more frequently in later cases.

Conclusions Improvements of quality metrics in operation time, conversion rate, length of hospital stay, and chest tube indwelling time were observed in proportion to case volume. Minimum experience of 50 is necessary for stable outcomes of pediatric VATS pulmonary resection.


Minimally invasive surgical procedures Pediatrics Video-assisted thoracic surgery Learning curve Congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation Bronchopulmonary sequestration 



Video-assisted thoracic surgery


Congenital lung malformations


Congenital pulmonary airway malformation


Bronchopulmonary sequestration



The authors appreciated the statistical advice from the Medical Research Collaborating Center at Seoul National University Hospital and the Seoul National University College of Medicine.

Compliance with ethical standards


Samina Park, Eung Re Kim, Yoohwa Hwang, Hyun Joo Lee, In Kyu Park, Young Tae Kim, and Chang Hyun Kang have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samina Park
    • 1
  • Eung Re Kim
    • 1
  • Yoohwa Hwang
    • 1
  • Hyun Joo Lee
    • 1
  • In Kyu Park
    • 1
  • Young Tae Kim
    • 1
  • Chang Hyun Kang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Seoul National University Children’s HospitalSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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