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Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)

Thoracic Surgeons at Virginia Hospital Center are highly skilled in Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS). Using this technique, they are able to offer their patients minimally invasive lung cancer diagnosis and treatment that result in less scarring, reduced recovery times, less risk of infection, less blood loss, and reduction in stress response compared to the traditional open-chest approach (Thoracotomy). Virginia Hospital Center Thoracic Surgeons often use the VATS approach to:

  • Conduct lung and Pleura biopsies
  • Perform lobectomies

How are VATS procedures performed?

Video-assisted thoracic surgery procedures are considered for surgeries that require precision and do not require open access. A surgeon does the surgery through several tiny "keyhole" incisions. The surgeon can see inside with the help of a tiny camera inserted through one of the incisions. The camera projects a video of the surgical proceeding onto a monitor in the operating room. Robotic arms may be used to perform the surgery, using miniature surgical instruments that are also passed into the chest via the keyhole incisions. If necessary, this method can be abandoned during surgery and the surgeon can take over with a more traditional laparoscopic or open surgery approach. To find out more about this procedure, please read Newsletter Article.

What are the advantages of VATS vs. the open approach?

There are very few surgeons in the Northern Virginia, Washington Metropolitan area who are highly skilled in VATS procedures. However, our surgeons have had great success in offering this approach. The benefits of VATS procedures as compared to the traditional open-chest procedure outcomes have been:

  • Reduced trauma to the body
  • Reduced risk of blood transfusion
  • Shorter hospital stay; usually 3 - 4 days, as opposed to 5 - 7 days (traditional)
  • Faster recovery
  • Less pain after the procedure
Call 703.558.8525 to find out if you are a candidate for Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS).
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