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What is video-assisted thoracic surgery?

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to diagnose and treat diseases of the lungs, chest and esophagus.

During a VATS procedure, a tiny camera is inserted into your chest through several small incisions. The camera sends images to a video monitor, which allow the surgeon to see and operate inside the body without having to fully open the chest.

Why it's done

VATs can be used to diagnose and/or treat a variety of lung and chest diseases and disorders, including:

  • Achalasia
  • Chest wall tumors
  • Disorders of the esophagus
  • Disorders of the mediastinum
  • Emphysema
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Esophageal mass
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung mass
  • Lung nodule
  • Mediastinal adenopathy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pulmonary diseases
  • Tracheal stenosis
  • Thymoma

Unlike traditional surgery in which a large incision has to be made in the chest and ribs may need to be spread, VATS allows the surgeon access through small incisions. This means you have a shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery time, less scarring, less blood loss and decreased pain.

Our approach

At Northwell, we specialize in the latest and most effective diagnostic techniques available, including video assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS). Our surgeons are highly skilled at performing VATS and other minimally invasive procedures.