Outcomes of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery for transvenous lead extraction

Mingyan Dai, David L. Joyce, Shanda Blackmon, M. P.H.Paul A. Friedman, Raul Espinosa, Michael J. Osborn, Congxin Huang, Yong Mei Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: To evaluate the outcomes of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) during transvenous lead extractions (TLEs). Methods and results: Ninety-one high-risk patients who underwent TLE in the operating room from January 1, 2015, to March 31, 2017, were included in the study. Of these, 9 patients underwent VATS during TLE. Their clinical characteristics, indications for lead extraction, and complications associated with TLE in the 9 patients who had VATS were compared with those for the 82 patients who did not have VATS. The mean (SD) age of the study patients was 61 (17) years (64.8% were male). The lead dwell time, number of leads extracted, and clinical comorbidities were similar between the 2 groups. Superior vena cava (SVC) tear occurred in 2 of the 9 patients in VATS group and in 1 of the 82 in the non-VATS group (22.2% vs. 1.2%, P = 0.03). Of the 2 patients in the VATS group who had SVC tears, in 1 the tear was visualized immediately and there was no hemodynamic compromise. In the other patient, the SVC tear was within the pericardium; the blood pressure recovered quickly after sternotomy and repair. Both patients had complete lead extraction and survived hospitalization. The patient in the non-VATS group who had an SVC tear had a successful repair but died of postoperative complications. Conclusions: Utilization of VATS to facilitate TLE is beneficial for early recognition of SVC tear and timely surgical repair in select high-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1032-1037
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • complications
  • outcomes
  • superior vena cava tear
  • transvenous lead extraction
  • video-assisted thoracoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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