Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery
The Center for Thoracic Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center leads the field in minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Using small incisions and less traumatic techniques, patient recovery is greatly improved.
Some of the benefits of minimally invasive thoracic surgery include:
Our surgeons at the Center for Thoracic Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center use video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robot-assisted technology to approach most tumors in the chest and abdomen.
This technique involves inserting a surgical camera (thoracoscope) through a small incision between the ribs. Once inside the chest, the surgeon has the ability to inspect the entire chest cavity. Specially designed instruments are inserted through similar “key-hole” incisions called “ports”, to allow the surgeon to manipulate the lung and other structures and remove areas of concern. Narrow surgical staplers can be inserted through these ports to obtain biopsies and remove portions of the lung. Tissue is then placed into a specially designed retrieval bag and removed through the same ports, avoiding need for conventional large incisions.
Surgeons at Baylor University Medical Center perform select surgery of the chest and abdomen using the Intuitive da Vinci® Surgical System. This technique allows exceptional control of instruments and superior visibility using 3-D visualization technology. The surgeon controls the robot’s movements from a console in the operating room next the patient. The improved visualization and dexterity allows our surgeons to perform complex procedures that were previously only possible through large incisions. Your surgeon will discuss with you whether you are a candidate for robotic surgery.
In the past, surgeons needed to spread between the ribcage and make large incisions to remove lung cancers. However, technology and surgical technique has evolved that allow equivalent operations to be performed through small incisions and without rib spreading. Surgical procedures for lung cancer are grouped into the following categories.
Your surgeon will discuss which option is best for you dependent on the location and size of your tumor, what other medical conditions you have and how good your lung function is.