Thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat problems in your chest.In thoracoscopy, a thin, flexible viewing tube (called a thoracoscope) is inserted through a small incision in the chest. Fiberoptic cables permit the surgeon to visually inspect the lungs, mediastinum (the area between the lungs), and pleura (the membrane covering the lungs and lining the chest cavity). In addition, surgical instruments may be inserted through other small incisions in the chest, to perform both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.
Compared with open surgery, less-invasive options such as VATS and robotic surgery result in reduced postoperative discomfort and quicker patient recovery. In turn, patients stay fewer days in the hospital and return to normal activities, including work, sooner.
How does video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) work?
The surgeon makes two or three small cuts (incisions) in the chest wall near the ribs. These holes are known as ports and are usually about 2 cm long. The surgeon then inserts the thoracoscope through one hole. The thorascope allows the surgeon to see inside the chest. Usually he/she will also insert special surgical instruments into the other incisions. These instruments can be used to remove tissue which may have been seen on an X-ray, or fluid found in the chest. Once the surgery has finished, the instruments are removed and the incisions are closed, usually with stitches.
What happens during video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)?
VATS is carried out in the operating theatre. Before the procedure, a small needle will be placed in a vein to give you fluids and medications. It is usually done using a general anaesthetic, which means you will be asleep for the surgery. You may also have an epidural. An epidural is a form of pain relief given through a thin tube placed into your back. Once you are asleep you may have a catheter put into your bladder. This is a thin, flexible tube that is inserted into the hole through which you urinate (your urethra) and then advanced into your bladder. This is because the epidural will make it difficult to urinate by yourself. It also allows doctors to measure how much urine you are making. You will be placed on the operating table on your side. Your surgeon will make the cuts (incisions) in your chest and insert the thoracoscope and any other instruments that are needed. After the surgeon has finished the surgery he/she will insert some small tubes into the chest. These are known as 'chest drains' and allow any fluid or air that collects to leak out. Any samples of tissue taken from your chest or lungs will be sent to the laboratory for further testing. You will slowly be allowed to come around from the anaesthetic. Usually you are given oxygen through a mask. After a while you will be taken back to the ward to rest. The epidural usually stays in until the chest drains are taken out and you are able to take pain relief tablets. Occasionally, although it was planned to use VATS, it is not possible to carry out your operation using keyhole surgery. This means another technique may need to be used. Your doctor should discuss this with you before the procedure.
How much will it cost?
Please contact medinovita team for detailed quote & rates.