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Video assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive alternative to the treatment and diagnosis of a variety of thoracic conditions. VATS utilizes a fiberoptic camera (thoracoscope) to view the inside of the chest by way of a small incision. Other small incisions are then used to conduct a multitude of procedures.

This technique does not involve spreading apart the ribs, as does a thoracotomy, and may significantly reduce postoperative discomfort. Thought VATS is useful in many thoracic operations, sometimes it is safer to use and open thoracotomy incision. Procedures for which VATS can be applied include:

  • Diagnosis of indeterminate masses and pleural effusions
  • Drainage of pleural effusions, chest infections (empyema), and blood (hemothorax)
  • Resection of pulmonary blebs
  • Cancer resections
  • Pericardial windows
  • Pacemaker lead placement
  • Biopsy of lymph nodes and mediastinal masses
  • Esophageal procedures

The surgeons of Phoenix cardiac surgery utilize the minimally invasive techniques of VATS. We are committed to learning newer applications where VATS may be useful, in order improve the recovery of our patients.

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The content on this website is intended to provide you with a better understanding of coronary artery disease, beating heart bypass surgery and endoscopic vessel harvesting. The procedures described in this website and related links may not be appropriate for all patients. The information on this website and maintain an open dialogue with you and your an informed discussion with a physician, and is not an endorsement or recommendation of any particular physician.

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