Video assisted thoracoscopic surgery as the name suggests involves surgery of the thorax by placing the specialised instruments in the thorax and performing surgery on the monitor under complete vision. VATS is an extended spectrum of minimal access surgery used to treat lung and chest conditions. With the advancements of techniques and improvisation of surgical skills the surgical results have become excellent with time.
Indication of Vats
- Diagnostic thoracoscopy and biopsy
- Chronic Empyema( It’s condition chest cavity is filled with pus due to chronic infections)
- Decortication surgery of the chest wall
- Thymoma ( swelling of thymus gland / myasthenia Gravis )
- Solitary lung nodule ( SLN) in cases of spread of cancers in to lung or nodules suspicious of primary cancers
- Partial lung resection
Once you are planned for surgery the surgeon will explain all the details , it’s risk involved , informed consent and recovery protocols after the surgery they are planning to perform. Usually the length of the procedure will depend upon the extent of the surgery.
- Surgery is performed under General anaesthesia
- Particular position according to the area surgery is given to the patient
- Small hole are made to enter the chest using video scope
- Assessment of lung cavity and diseased lung is done
- The site of the surgery is reached
- Surgery is performed using specialised instruments and staplers in case of removal part of lung
- The diseased part is removed and the chest tube is place in lung cavity.
Recovery after surgery
- The patient is kept in surgical intensive care unit for initial observation and management.
- Intensive chest physiotherapy is advised for enhanced recovery of the patients
- Diet is usually give once patient is comfortable sitting with support.
- Early mobilisation of the patient is recommended.
Advantages of Vats surgery
- Big chest incision is avoided which is used in conventional surgery which causes significant discomfort and pain.
- Early recovery of lung functions
- Early healing of the wound
- Shorter stay of hospital
- Early mobilisation and early return to work
- Scar is minimal
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