Eric Vallieres, MD, medical director, Division of Thoracic Oncology, Swedish Cancer Institute, discusses postoperative quality of life in patients with lung cancer.
Eric Vallieres, MD, medical director, Division of Thoracic Oncology, Swedish Cancer Institute, discusses postoperative quality of life (QoL) in patients with lung cancer.
Recent advances made in thoracic surgery have moved the needle forward in a favorable way, Vallieres says. Not only has length of stay after these procedures been reduced, but surgeons are also able to manage patients’ pain perioperatively. Further, the use of a minimally invasive approach causes less surgical trauma in the chest wall, which ultimately translates to early recovery.
Vallieres adds that the approach used for open surgery has also undergone several changes in the past 2 decades. Even patients who are undergoing major procedures are recovering much faster. As a result of the progress that has been made in the space, patients with lung cancer are able to return to a fairly decent QoL much earlier following surgery; they are able to be active in their postoperative care with early ambulation. On average, patients are off all pain medication and back to baseline just 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.