PULMONARY (LUNG) SURGERY
Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS):
VATS is a type of surgery wherein the surgeon uses a special technique, unlike traditional "open-chest" surgery, to access the thoracic (chest) cavity.
This type of surgery is done through 2-4 tiny holes made between the patient's ribs. One hole is used to insert a very small video camera, which allows the physicians to see the inside of the chest on a television monitor and the remainder of the holes are for other medical instruments. Traditional "open-chest" surgery is highly invasive and results in a long and often difficult recovery period. VATS allows surgeons to perform some of the same procedures while avoiding cutting layers of chest muscles, separating the ribs and allowing for shorter recovery periods versus traditional "open-chest" surgery. Many thoracic surgeons hope that in the future the majority of procedures will be conducted in this manner, however, for the time being only certain procedures can be done through VATS and only certain patients are candidates for VATS. After thorough evaluation of your condition, Dr. Toth, Dr. Lee, or Dr. Privitera will establish if VATS is a suitable treatment for you.
Other advantages to VATS that are due to the fact that there are only very small incisions include; reduced pain and scarring, a shorter hospital stay and usually a quicker return to work and daily activities. As a result of many of these advantages patients often feel better very quickly, however, it is essential that they listen carefully to their physicians instructions and remember that although they may feel well on the outside their internal organs are still in the process of healing from the surgery.