Minimally Invasive and Robotic Thoracic Surgery

North Shore-LIJ  thoracic surgeons perform the majority of their cases using minimally invasive techniques including robotic surgery and video assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS). This technique can have significant benefits to the patient including a quicker recovery, reduced risk of infection and less scaring.

Understanding Minimally Invasive and Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Traditional  thoracic surgery requires a large incision. Some patients, however, may be candidates for a minimally invasive or robotic approach  which surgeons make  multiple small incisions.

Surgeons performing robotic surgery are specially trained to use a state of the art computer console to control  surgical instruments on thin robotic arms that place through tiny incisions between the ribs. The robotic instruments mimic the surgeon’s hand motion from the console in the operating room. The robotic system still allows the surgeon to make all of the decisions, while benefiting from 3-dimensional, high definition views of the surgical site and precise motion control for complex cutting and sewing techniques.  These complex surgical techniques that the robot offers otherwise could not be done through a minimally invasive approach. 

Video assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS) is another minimally invasive approach to thoracic surgery.  Like robotic surgery, VATS uses advanced video technology that is inserted through small incisions and allows the surgeon to see the interior of the chest without the need for a large incision.  

Potential Benefits to Minimally Invasive and Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Your surgeon and other members of the team will review your medical history and current condition to determine if you are a candidate for minimally invasive or robotic thoracic surgery. The surgical team will carefully compare the advantages and disadvantages of minimally invasive or robotic techniques versus traditional surgery techniques.  Potential benefits of minimally invasive thoracic surgery can include:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less risk of wound infection
  • Less pain and scarring
  • Improved healing time
  • Reduced blood loss and fewer transfusions
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker return to normal activities

Thoracic procedures performed using minimally invasive and robotic techniques include:

  • Robotically Assisted Lung Tumor Removal
  • Robotically Assisted Esophageal Surgery
  • Robotically Assisted Tracheal Surgery 
  • Video Assisted Thorascopic Surgery (VATS)
  • Uniportal Video Assisted Thorascopic Surgery

Individualized Care

Minimally invasive techniques often allow surgeons to perform complex surgery on high-risk patients  for whom traditional surgery may not be an option. The key to successful outcomes is the delivery of patient specific planning and care, carefully matching the patient, pathology and surgical technique for the best possible outcome. 

To schedule an appointment with a minimally invasive and robotics-trained thoracic surgeon, call (855) 432-7811.

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