OBJECTIVE To determine the optimal intercostal space (ICS) for thoracoscopic-assisted pulmonary surgery for lung lobectomy in cats. SAMPLE 8 cat cadavers. PROCEDURES Cadavers were placed in lateral recumbency. A 5-cm minithoracotomy incision was made in the middle third of ICS 4 through 7 on the left side and 4 through 8 on the right side, and a wound retractor device was placed. A camera port was made in the middle third of ICS 9. Each lung lobe was sequentially exteriorized at each respective ICS. A thoracoabdominal stapler was placed to simulate a lung lobectomy, and distance from the stapler anvil to the hilus was measured. RESULTS For the left cranial lung lobe, there was no significant difference in median distance from the stapler anvil to the pulmonary hilus for ICS 4 through 6. Simulated lobectomy of the left caudal lung lobe performed at ICS 5 and 6 resulted in a significantly shorter distance, compared with lobectomy performed at ICS 4 and 7. Simulated lobectomy of the right cranial and right middle lung lobes performed at ICS 4 and 5 resulted in a significantly shorter distance, compared with lobectomy performed at ICS 7. Simulated lobectomy of the accessory and right caudal lung lobes at ICS 5 and 6 resulted in a significantly shorter distance than for lobectomy performed at ICS 8. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE An optimal ICS for a minithoracotomy incision was determined for thoracoscopic-assisted lung lobectomy in cats. (Am J Vet Res 2019;80:1050– 1054).
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