Lung lobectomy surgical approach and resource utilization differ by anatomic lobe in a statewide discharge registry

Daniel T. DeArmond, Mohammed S. Rahman, Stewart R. Miller, Christian P. Jacobsen, Scott B. Johnson, Duy C. Nguyen, Nitin A. Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Anatomic lobe-specific differences with respect to pulmonary lobectomy have been suggested in the thoracic surgery literature but hard data has been lacking in larger population studies in part due to coding systems that do not distinguish pulmonary lobectomy by anatomic lobe. International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) procedure codes, adopted in the United States in 2015, may provide novel methodologic accessibility for pulmonary lobectomy studies as they classify lobectomy operations by specific anatomic lobe. We queried the Texas Inpatient Public Use Data File (TPUDF) ICD-10 codes for both open and endoscopic approach lobectomy with a specific view to differences based on anatomic lobes. Methods: Between fourth fiscal quarter (Q4) 2015 and Q4 2017, all pulmonary lobectomy operations performed in Texas state-licensed hospitals were identified by querying the TPUDF for ICD-10 procedure codes for pulmonary lobectomy as classified by anatomic lobe. Surgical approach, additional procedures and diagnosis codes, length of hospital stay (LOS), and discharge status were recorded with aggregate values undergoing statistical analysis. Results: Right and left upper versus lower lobe resections were more prevalent however minimally invasive surgery was less commonly performed for upper than right lower lobectomy. LOS, irrespective of surgical approach, was longer for upper versus lower lobe resection as was need for transfer to additional inpatient facilities. LOS was longer and need for additional surgical or procedural interventions days after the primary procedure of lobectomy was greater for right versus left upper lobe resection, suggesting some differential properties of the right versus left pleural space. Conclusions: The marked clinical differences between anatomic lobes in the setting of pulmonary lobectomy observed in this study have the potential to translate to differences in expected hospital and health system costs and surgeon time-expenditure and experience premium that currently have no mechanism for their accounting. These findings highlight the value of ICD-10 coding for analysis of pulmonary lobectomy in administrative databases and suggest a possible path to more informed patient counseling and equitable hospital and surgeon reimbursement based on payment adjustment by anatomic lobe in pulmonary lobectomy operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2791-2801
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Pulmonary lobectomy
  • administrative healthcare databases
  • lung cancer
  • lung cancer surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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