Lung cancer

Powered Stapler Reduces Bleeding Complications After Thoracic Surgery

Using a powered stapler in thoracic surgery for lung cancer significantly reduces the rates of bleeding complications, according to a new study released yesterday.1

For their study, the researchers evaluated data from 3759 adults undergoing elective video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) from January 1, 2012, to September 30, 2016. The researchers then compared outcomes associated with powered (n = 659) or manual (3100) endoscopic staplers used during the index admission.


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Also analyzed were hospital length of stay (LOS); operating room time (ORT); hospital costs; complications (bleeding and/or transfusions, air leak complications, pneumonia, and infection); discharge status; and 30-, 60-, and 90-day all-cause readmissions.

Results showed that patients in the powered stapler group had a shorter LOS (4.9 vs 5.9 days), lower hospital costs ($23,841 vs $26,052), and lower rates of bleeding and/or transfusions (8.5% vs 16.0%), compared with patients in the manual stapler group.

No significant differences were seen between the groups for the other outcomes.

“This real-world study shows stapler choice really does matter in significantly reducing bleeding complications and lowering overall costs in VATS lobectomy procedures. The results in favor of powered stapling devices in thoracic surgery are compelling,” said lead study author Daniel L. Miller, MD, Chief, General Thoracic Surgery at WellStar Health System, Mayo Clinic Care Network in Marietta, Georgia.2

—Amanda Balbi


  1. Miller DL, Roy S, Kassis ES, Yadalam S, Ramisetti S, Johnston S. Impact of powered and tissue-specific endoscopic stapling technology on clinical and economic outcomes of video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy procedures: a retrospective, observational study [published online April 16, 2018]. Adv Ther
  2. New study finds powered stapler use is associated with reduced rates of bleeding complications in thoracic surgery for lung cancer [press release]. San Diego, CA: Ethicon; April 30, 2018. Accessed May 1, 2018.