The best of VATS International 2017: Joel Dunning

In a day crammed full of lectures from internationally recognized experts – as part of a series of articles,  here are our picks



Best Orator:  Dr. Joel Dunning – for overall style, presentation as well as his lecture content.  In particular, his lecture on microlobectomy is excellent for being both informative and entertaining in delivery.  He promotes this 3 port technique, which utilizes a subxiphoid port as the utility incision, stating that the subxiphoid area is more flexible (no ribs) which results in less post-operative pain even when very large tumors or sections of lung5 are removed via the subxiphoid port.   He uses CO2 insufflation, and two 5mm accessory ports.  Insufflation decreases the amount of instrumentation needed, and he can perform most cases easily with the standard laparoscopic general surgery instruments, which fit easily in the 5mm posts.  The most impressive part of this technique is his pot-operative statistics, with 22% of his patients being discharged on post-operative day #1.

Essential of Microlobectomy

His second lecture: Robotic surgery is better than VATS: Against was a more-tongue-in cheek poke at Dr. Robert Cerfolio.  While entertaining, Dr.  Dunning answered the debate challenge in a less progressive fashion than I would have anticipated.  (While stating that RATS wouldn’t be needed if surgeons would follow all of the best practices for general thoracic surgery because of the excellent outcomes in areas of pain, mortality, length of stay, infection etc. with standard (open) thoracotomy using data researched and published by Dr. Cerfolio was a clever presentation, it doesn’t really address the fact that this very expensive procedure is being touted as “state-of-the-art”  and “cutting edge treatment” despite the lack of scientific evidence to document any real surgical advantages for patients.

Dr. Joel Dunning


Author: K Eckland

World of Thoracic Surgery is a blog about the work, research, and practices of thoracic surgeons around the world. It includes case studies, [sometimes] dry research, interviews with thoracic surgeons along with patient perspectives, and feedback.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: