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The division of Thoracic Surgery is committed to preventing, identifying, and caring for diseases of the chest cavity.

Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)

Video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive alternative to diagnose and treat a wide range of disorders of the chest and lungs that were traditionally managed through sternotomy or open thoracotomy. VATS utilizes a special instrument called a thoracoscope that has a built in camera. During the surgery the thoracoscope and special surgical instruments are inserted through small incisions over the chest. The thoracoscope transmits the images of the surgical area to a monitor which aid the surgeon during the procedure.

Some of the indications for video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) include:

  • Lung, diaphragmatic and pleural biopsies
  • Removing lymph nodes
  • Treatment of various lung disorders like pleural effusion in which fluid accumulates in the lining of the lung
  • Lung resection to treat cancer or other lung diseases
  • Decortication
  • Anti-reflux procedures
  • Diaphragmatic plication

As VATS is performed through small incisions, it minimizes trauma and provides various other benefits as well that include:

  • Less post-operative pain
  • Fewer operative complications
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Smaller scars
  • Fast recovery
  • Quicker return to daily normal activities

Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Robotic thoracic surgery is a newer surgical approach which greatly enhances the surgeon’s visualization of the operative field, precision, and control compared to the traditional “open” surgery approach. Robotic-assisted surgeries are being widely employed in the management of various surgical conditions across different specialties. Thoracic surgeons are using the robotic system for lung cancer and esophageal surgeries.

In the traditional surgical approach, thoracic surgeons make a large chest incision and spread or cut the ribs to access the thoracic cavity to perform the surgery. With robotic thoracic surgery, the surgeon makes small 1 cm incisions in the same rib space to perform a thoracic surgery, for example a lobectomy (lung lobe removal), without spreading or cutting the breastbone or ribs, thereby minimizing blood loss, pain and scarring.

Benefits of robotic thoracic surgery over traditional thoracic surgery include:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain and scarring
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and fewer transfusions
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities
  • No cutting of the ribs or sternum (breastbone)

During robotic thoracic surgery, our surgeons use the da Vinci® Surgical System, a robotic device that allows the surgeons to access the chest cavity and perform the procedure through smaller incisions. The da Vinci robotic system is among the most effective and least invasive technique which ensures faster recovery with minimal pain and also reduces the risks associated with traditional open surgery.

The da Vinci surgical system consists of a surgeon’s console, a patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms, a high-performance vision system (3D camera) and miniaturized EndoWrist surgical instruments.

While performing the surgical procedure, your surgeon will be seated at the da Vinci console with the help of which he is able to view a magnified, high-resolution 3D image of the area to be operated. Your surgeon would then introduce miniaturized EndoWrist instruments through few tiny incisions, to access the surgical site. These instruments help your surgeon perform the procedure with precision and control. Your surgeon uses master controls which function similar to forceps and translate the surgeon’s directions into precise movements of miniaturized instruments.

Nondiscrimination Statement:

Cahaba Valley Surgical Group, P.C. complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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