Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)
A major advance in lung cancer surgery is a minimally invasive approach
called video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), which is quickly becoming
the standard of lung cancer care.
While conventional thoracotomy (lung surgery) requires a six to eight inch
incision, spreading of the ribs, and possibly severing muscles, VATS is
a minimally invasive procedure that requires only four small incisions
without rib spreading or muscle damage.
Through these small openings, surgical instruments and a thoracoscope with
a small camera lens are inserted, producing high-resolution images on
a video monitor that provides the VATS surgeon with a detailed, magnified
view of the surgical site. A segment, lobe or entire lung can be removed
through a VATS procedure, depending on the patient’s condition and
extent of cancer.
About 75 percent of lung cancer patients are candidates for this minimally
invasive procedure. This procedure is especially beneficial for patients
who may otherwise have been considered inoperable due to their age, or
other complicating medical conditions.
Benefits of VATS
The minimally invasive VATS technique offers clear advantages over the
open-chest traditional thoracotomy procedure, including:
- Small, keyhole incisions
- Shorter hospital stay
- Less post-operative pain
- Less risk of post-operative complications
- Faster recovery time
Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) provides a safe, minimally invasive
approach to lung cancer care. Additionally, VATS has been shown to result
in cancer survival rates that are equal to, or better than, traditional
open procedures, which is why it’s the preferred surgical treatment
option at Hoag Family Cancer Institute.
Candidates for VATS
Individuals with localized, early stages of lung cancer are optimal candidates
for surgery, and specifically the VATS procedure. Additionally, older
patients (particularly those with complex medical conditions) tend to
tolerate the VATS procedure much better than the open, traditional procedure.
However, candidates still must be physically strong enough to tolerate surgery.
Individuals with regionally advanced stages of lung disease can often be
treated aggressively with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy in an
effort to shrink the cancer enough to make it surgically resectable.
Experience You Can Trust!
Hoag Lung Cancer Program’s commitment to accurate diagnosis, combined
with progressive therapeutic options enables Hoag patients to achieve
some of the highest clinical outcomes in the nation.
To learn more about Hoag's top rated Lung Cancer Program, visit:
For more about Hoag Lung Cancer Program, or to schedule a second-opinion
consultation with a Hoag lung cancer expert, please call 949-7-CANCER