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Research Letter
Association of VA Surgeons
February 2016

A Successful Institutional Strategy to Increase the Number of Therapeutic Operations Among Patients With Lung Lesions

Author Affiliations
  • 1Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville
  • 2Department of Thoracic Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(2):193-194. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.3253

Pulmonary resection is a diagnostic and therapeutic strategy for patients with known or suspected lung cancer. Surgeons must strike a balance between resecting early-stage cancer and improving survival, while minimizing the removal of benign lesions and the low but finite risk of resection. Overall rates of nontherapeutic resections of benign lesions (ie, benign rates) have surpassed 20% in recent large cooperative trials but may vary among institutions depending on the underlying population risk, referral patterns, and the level of aversion to risk among clinicians.1,2 Institutional strategies that include multidisciplinary conferences with participation from specialists in the fields of surgery, pulmonology, radiology, pathology, and oncology participation may minimize benign rates and increase the number of therapeutic resections.

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