Bronchoscopic NdYAG laser treatment in lung cancer, 30 years on: an institutional review

Lasers in Medical Science
Keyvan Moghissi, Kate Dixon


We review our 21-year experience in bronchoscopic NdYAG laser for lung cancer and the relevant literature. Patients totaling 1,159 received 2,235 bronchoscopic treatments. The pre-requisite for laser therapy was the presence of >50% obstruction of the bronchial lumen. We use the rigid bronchoscope, with the patient under general anaesthetic and application of laser in its non-contact mode. Two patients (0.17%) died following the procedure, and 4.8% had non-fatal complications. Four to 6 weeks after treatment there was a 48% increase in bronchial calibre and an increase of 27% (mean) in forced vital capacity and 15% (mean) in forced expiratory volume in one second, respectively. These paralleled symptomatic relief and chest X-ray improvement. Literature review indicated results similar to ours in those centres with high volume activity. Thirty years on, bronchoscopic YAG laser therapy of lung cancer still has an important role in palliation of patients with inoperable lung cancer, particularly those requiring immediate relief of bronchial obstruction.


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Bronchoscopic Surgical Procedures
Malignant Neoplasm of Lung
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