Learn more about the benefits of VATS compared to traditional, open thoracotomy.
The traditional open thoracotomy requires rib spreading and a large 10 to 15 centimeter (4 to 6 inches) incision to gain access to view and treat the lungs. That causes disruption to muscles and ribs — and potentially more postoperative pain for your patients.([FOOTNOTE=Cleveland Clinic. Video-assisted lobectomy as a type of minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Cleveland Clinic Website. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17608-vats-lobectomy-overview. Accessed Dec. 2017.],[ANCHOR=],[LINK=])
VATS allows you to access the treatment area using endoscopic instruments and endostaplers.1 The instruments can be inserted into the chest through small 2 to 4 centimeter (.75 to 1.5 inch) incisions made between the ribs. A high magnification scope allows you to view the cancerous lung tissue and effectively transect and remove the tissue.
The benefits of minimally invasive VATS include:
|Pain||Incisions and your patients’ chest area may be painful for several weeks to months after surgery and sometimes longer.|
|Incision Size||One large incision 10–15 cm (4–6 in)||One main incision 4–6 cm (1.5–2.4 in; usually 4.5 cm/1.8 in); multiple additional incisions, typically 2–4 cm (0.8–2.4 in)|
|Eligibility||Stages I–IIIA||Stages I–IIIA|
|Length of Hospital Stay||Up to 7 days||3–4 days|
ǂVATS is associated with reduced cytokine production. Cytokines regulate the immune system and certain cytokines associated with the body’s inflammatory response have been linked to a better lung cancer prognosis when they are at lower levels. Pre-clinical results may not correlate with clinical performance in humans.