After a primary operation for bronchial carcinoma, 17 patients underwent reoperation for local recurrence or intrathoracic metastasis (nine squamous cell, five alveolar cell, and three adenocarcinomas). The average interval between the first and second operation was 23 months (range: six to 48 months). Twelve patients had a pneumonectomy after an initial ipsilateral lobectomy. Five patients underwent contralateral wedge excision after initial lobectomy or wedge excision. Three patients died within 30 days of the reoperation. Eight of the remaining 14 patients died subsequently, the time of survival averaging 18 months (range: three to 54 months). Six patients are still alive, two having survived their reoperation for more than five years. Reoperation for recurrent bronchial carcinoma is rarely performed, but it should be considered in all cases where patients survive operation for lung cancer if the primary operation was thought to be radical.
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