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Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery

Video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive option for patients undergoing thoracic surgery.

VATS is primarily used to remove tumors and cysts, perform biopsies and lobectomies or to treat thoracic disorders such as pneumothorax and lung infections that are often treated with lung surgery. Video assisted thoracic surgery is considered a major advancement in the treatment of benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) diseases of the chest cavity. 

During VATS, a small camera called a thoracoscope is inserted into the chest through four small incisions. Thoracoscopic images are then transmitted onto a video monitor, allowing the thoracic surgeon to remove diseased tissue, drain fluids or repair damaged areas.  

Benefits of VATS:

  • Fewer Complications: While 30 percent of thoracotomy patients experience complications following surgery, only five percent experience complications with VATS.
  • Faster Recovery Times: VATS patients experience significantly faster recovery times than patients who undergo traditional thoracic surgery.
  • Less Postoperative Pain:  Thanks to smaller incisions and the minimally invasive nature of VATS, patients tend to experience less pain than those who undergo traditional surgery.
  • Shorter Hospital Stays: Compared to a typical stay of 7-10 days for a thoracotomy, patients who undergo VATS are typically discharged in one to two days.

Candidates for VATS

If you require thoracic surgery, the VATS surgical team will work with your referring physician to determine the best treatment plan for you. As with any surgery, both minimally invasive and traditional approaches are considered. Patients who are not eligible for an open thoracotomy, due to risk factors or pre-existing medical conditions, may be ideal candidates for VATS.

To learn more about VATS, call (727) 446-2273.

Morton Plant Hospital
300 Pinellas Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
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