A lobectomy takes out part of your lung to treat lung cancer. This usually means we have to open up your chest in a major operation. With video-assisted thoracic surgery, or VATS surgery, you can avoid the pain and risk of major surgery. We can remove lung tissue with a few, small cuts. Using this high-tech approach means:
- Faster recovery
- Less pain
Open surgery and VATS both work. But VATS gives you a less painful option.
At UVA, have one of the most experienced hospitals in performing VATS in the region.
How VATS Surgery Works
During this procedure, the surgeon makes two or three small cuts, none larger than 5 cm. Then, we insert a tiny camera (called a thorascope) into your chest. This camera transmits images to a video screen. The surgical team uses the video to guide them through the procedure.
Candidates for VATS
VATS could be an option for you if you have:
- Stage I or II lung cancer
- Early-stage small cell lung cancer
- Mediastinal tumors and cysts
- Benign esophageal tumors
- Myasthenia gravis
We can also use VATS for some patients with Stage IIA lung cancer. Also, you can have VATS even if you've already had chest surgery, including lung or heart surgery.