The Catholic University of Korea Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital ,
Achieving 1,000 cases of thoracic surgery on lung, esophageal disease, and pectus excavatum per year
A medical team, consisting of Prof. Sook-Whan Sung, Prof. Young-Pil Wang, Prof. Jae-Kil Park, and Prof. Hyung Joo Park from the department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the Catholic University of Korea Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital (President Tae-Kon Hwang) achieved 1,000 cases of surgery on lung, esophageal disease, and pectus excavatum in 2011.
The team’s performance has been more than doubled within 3 years. The team performed 463 surgeries in 2009, the year that the Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital was opened, followed by 541 surgeries in 2010 and 1,020 surgeries in 2011.
The key reason for the growth is the increment of operation cases on lung cancer and pectus excavatum. In cases of lung cancer surgery, the hospital performed 75 surgeries in 2009, 115 surgeries in 2010, and 176 surgeries in 2011.
It is analyzed that the increase in the number of lung cancer surgery performed is because minimally invasive thoracoscopic surgery becomes available since Sept. 2010. This type of procedure gives smaller incisions and less postoperative pain, therefore shortens a patient’s recovery time compare to the current surgical procedure. Since the patients will be able to return home 3 or 4 days after the operation, they are very satisfied with the procedure.
In addition, the result of a longitudinal study on 190 patients who had a lung cancer surgery between Sept. 2010 and Sept. 2011, showed the success rate for the surgery as 98.5%. This result is on a par with internationally renowned hospitals.
The hospital has been started to perform surgical correction for pectus excavatum in earnest since Mar. 2011. Total number of surgery performed for the last year is 350 which indicate the record of treating 80% of pectus excavatum patients in Korea.
Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital became a high volume center for esophageal cancer surgery by having attained the record of 33 esophageal cancer surgeries in 2011.
A high volume center for esophageal cancer surgery refers to a medical institution which performs more than 30 cases of esophageal cancer surgery per year. In general, esophageal cancer surgery is done by resecting the esophagus then reconstructing with a stomach or intestines. The procedure is considered as an advanced surgery because it usually takes over 6 hours and associate with a high incidence rate of complications.
This is a reason why many hospitals perform only about 10 cases of esophageal cancer surgery per year.
Prof. Sook-Whan Sung, a director of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery department, said, “It is very encouraging fact that the department showed the quantitative growth along with high recovery rate, low death rate and low incidence rate for complications. The department will continue to try hard to improve more in the future.”