Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is a procedure approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for certain people with lung cancer. It is typically used to biopsy a lung or another area in the chest cavity, or to remove a small tumor or a lobe of a lung. It is also used to facilitate several other different procedures and surgeries. Lobectomy, segmentectomy, pneumonectomy, and wedge resection are examples of surgeries that can be performed via video-assisted thoracic surgery.
What does it involve?
People usually undergo VATS under general anesthesia. The surgeon will start by making small incisions near the lungs and inserting surgical instruments. They will also insert a tiny camera that projects images from the inside of your body onto a monitor, which the surgeon can view as they operate. Once the surgery is complete, the surgeon will withdraw the instruments and suture the inciscions shut.
Video assisted thoracic surgery is an inpatient procedure. You will typically spend a minimum of three days in the hospital afterward for monitoring. It can take several weeks to recover fully from the procedure.
Risks from VATS include pneumonia, partially collapsed lung, nerve damage, reactions to anesthesia, damage to nearby organs, bleeding, and, rarely, death.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) — Mayo Clinic
Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery — Johns Hopkins Medicine