VATS is a type of chest surgery that requires making tiny openings in the chest. During VATS, the doctor makes small, keyhole incisions and uses a tiny camera (called a thoracoscope) and other small tools. Images from the camera are sent to TV monitors. The doctor relies on these images to do the surgery.

VATS is used to diagnose and treat a range of conditions. Common reasons to undergo VATS include:

  • Diagnosing and treating lung cancer, including lymph node biopsy.
  • Removing diseased lung sections or lobes
  • Diagnosing lung infections
  • Treating collapsed lungs
  • Draining fluid out of the chest cavity
  • Diagnosing and treating of the thymus (organ in the chest)

Lung Cancer
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Compared to traditional procedures, VATS may result in:

  • Less pain and faster recovery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Fewer complications
  • Less scarring