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Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Lung Surgery (VATS)

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a minimally-invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat problems in the chest.

During a VATS procedure, a thoracoscope and surgical instruments are inserted into the patient’s chest through one or more small incisions in the chest wall. The thoracoscope transmits images of the inside of the chest onto a video monitor, guiding the surgeon in performing the procedure.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery may be done to:

  • Remove cancer or tumors, or perform a biopsy
  • Treat injuries that cause lung tissue to collapse
  • Remove disease or damaged lung tissue
  • Remove blood or blood clots
  • Inflate lung tissue that has collapsed
  • Treat or remove infection in the chest cavity
  • Stop fluid buildup in the chest cavity
  • Remove a blood clot in the pulmonary artery
  • Treat complications of tuberculosis

How does it work?

During the procedure:

  • A Deborah® surgeon will make several small surgical cuts over the chest wall. A thoracoscope and other small tools will be passed through these cuts.
  • Then, the surgeon may remove part or all of the lung, drain fluid or blood that has built up, or do other procedures.
  • One or more tubes will be placed into the chest to drain fluids that build up.

What can I expect after treatment?

Compared to a traditional open thoracotomy, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery typically results in less pain, fewer complications and shortened recovery time.