Sleeve lobectomy is a procedure in which the involved lobe with part of the main stembronchus is removed. The remaining lobe (s) is reimplanted on the main stembronchus. This procedure is indicated for central tumors of the lung as an alternative to pneumonectomy. It is the aim of this study to describe the technique of sleeve lobectomy and to analyse the early postoperative results and late results (survival-recurrence) after sleeve lobectomy for non-small-cell lung cancer. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Between 1985 and 1999, 77 sleeve lobectomies for bronchogenic carcinoma were performed at the University hospitals Leuven. The most common performed sleeve lobectomy is the right upper lobe sleeve lobectomy (67.5%). In 6 patients a combined sleeve resection of the pulmonary artery was performed. The operative mortality was 3.9%. Two patients developed a broncho-pleural fistula. The five-year survival rate was 45.6%. In 5 patients, an anastomotic suture developed which required a completion pneumonectomy in 2. Thirteen patients developed local tumor recurrence. CONCLUSION: We conclude that sleeve lobectomy can be performed with an acceptable mortality and morbidity. Long term survival rate and recurrence rate are as good as after pneumonectomy. The operative mortality is lower when compared to pneumonectomy, exercise tolerance and quality of life are much better after sleeve lobectomy compared to pneumonectomy. For central tumours we believe that sleeve resection is the procedure of choice.