Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat problems in your chest.
Lung surgery is surgery done to repair or remove diseased lung tissue. Video-assisted thoracic surgery is a minimally invasive lung surgery and an excellent option for treating lung cancer in many patients. VATS is used most often in treating stages one and two lung cancers.
VATS involves using a small camera that is introduced into the patient through a one-inch incision, which allows the physician to view the instruments and the anatomy. Two additional one-inch incisions are employed to pass instruments through and tissue or lung lobe removal is done through a separate three-inch incision.
With VATS, the surgeon uses small cuts, instead of the traditional, long, open chest cavity incision that spreads open the rib cage. VATS is much less invasive and reduces incisional pain and allows for a faster recovery.
Video-assisted thoracic surgery can be used to treat many of these conditions. In some cases, video surgery may not be possible, and the surgeon may have to switch to an open surgery.