Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS)
Over the years, with the developments in the medical field, VATS is the procedure of choice and is widely used for diagnosis and treatment of pleural and lung diseases. In this procedure, the surgeon makes three to four 5-10mm incisions and inserts a video camera into the chest cavity via a scope through one of the incisions. Other surgical instruments are inserted through the other incisions.
VATS maybe performed for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Few indications include:
- Lung biopsies to assess lung pathology
- Assessing the pleural fluid (fluid in the lung)
- Treatment of pus or blood or fluid accumulated around the lung or heart
- Treatment of lung diseases by direct introduction of medicines
- Surgical removal of a portion of the lung
- Resection of lung tumors
- A special indication for VATS is lung volume reduction surgery which improve dyspnea and pulmonary function in selected patients with severe emphysema.
VATS is much less invasive than Open surgery and has quicker recovery period, lesser post-operative pain (due to minimal chest wall and muscle trauma) and excellent cosmetic results.