Lung Cancer and the Advantages of Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS Lobectomy)

Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery

Early lung cancer is a potentially curable condition with excellent results by surgery. Minimally invasive surgery with the use of video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomy with lymph node dissection is the standard of care for treating early lung cancers.

With the use of videoscope, the surgeon is able to visualise the problem area, the entire chest cavity and approach the lobectomy with endo instruments and endo staplers. Through small 1-4 cm incisions made between the ribs, thin and long instruments can be passed into the chest cavity. The scope allows the surgeon to view, under high magnification, the cancerous area in the lung and manipulate these instruments to remove the cancer tissue. With new instruments like endostaplers, lung tissue, blood vessels and airway can be transected safely and efficiently.

The entire procedure does not require any rib spreading and is a less invasive procedure. In contrast, the traditional open approach, thoracotomy, requires a large 10-15 cm incision for visualisation, and will cause disruption of the rib cage and chest musculature.

Total operative time is approximately 2-3 hours.

VATS lobectomy offers numerous benefits over the traditional open approach in early stage lung cancer treatment.