Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery
Less Invasive, Faster Recovery
Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS), a new treatment option for cancer and other lung conditions, is offered at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. VATS allows surgeons access to a patient’s chest cavity through three, small 1 cm incisions.
How does it work? The surgeon inserts a long, thin fiber-optic camera to transmit images of the chest cavity onto a video monitor. Then, the surgeon inserts specialized surgical instruments into the chest for dissection. This technique doesn’t require the surgeon to spread or remove part of the ribs, which means there’s less surgical trauma and a faster recovery.
VATS can be used for biopsies to diagnose:
- Diseases of the lining of the chest (pleura)
- Disease in the substance of the lung (such as interstitial lung disease, lung infection or inflammation)
- Lung Cancer
Advanced surgery – called a VATS lobectomy – is available to remove larger portions of lung tissue to treat lung cancer. Patients who undergo a VATS lobectomy, compared to an open lobectomy involving a large rib-spreading incision, enjoy these advantages:
Shorter hospital stay
Fewer post-operative complications
Faster return to normal activities
Smaller incision, minimally invasive
Less likely to need a blood transfusion after surgery
Quicker access to post-operative chemotherapy, if appropriate