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Specialists in the Field of VATS Lobectomy
Information About the Field of VATS Lobectomy
What Is VATS?
VATS is the abbreviation for video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. It describes a minimally invasive surgery used to diagnose and treat various diseases of organs in the thoracic cavity. In this technique, only small skin incisions have to be made (minimally invasive), through which special instruments and the camera are inserted through the chest (thorax) into the thoracic cavity. This is mainly used to treat diseases of the lungs, but other organs such as the esophagus can also be operated on using VATS.
When Is a Video-Assisted Lobectomy Carried Out?
The human lung consists of a left and right lung divided into several lobes (called lobi pulmonis) (three on the right side and two on the left side). The lobes of the lungs are in turn, consist of multiple segments.
A VATS lobectomy is used to remove an entire lobe of the lung surgically. If only lobe segments are removed, this is defined as a segment resection. These procedures are used when the disease is confined to specific anatomical areas, i.e., segments or lobes, and the remaining lung tissue is healthy. Primarily, early-stage cancers of the lung are treated by such lobectomies or segmental resections. In addition, bronchial carcinomas ( lung cancers ) and metastases originating from a distant tumor can be removed minimally invasively as long as they meet specific criteria.
Procedure and Duration
The anatomical classification of the lung lobes into segments is of surgical importance because each segment is supplied by its artery, vein, and tracheal branches. So, when a segment or lobe is removed, the associated vessels and tracheal branches must also always be separated and closed. A VATS lobectomy uses surgical staplers that can divide and safely close all tissues simultaneously. This minimizes bleeding and also allows the tracheal branches to be sealed airtight.
The surgery begins with several small incisions in the skin, usually measuring 3-5 cm. Through these openings, a camera and special endoscopic instruments are inserted into the chest cavity. The high-resolution camera records and transmits the video in real-time to a screen on which the surgeon can follow what is happening in magnified form. This makes it possible to work precisely, as with a magnifying glass, since all structures are clearly displayed. Using the stapler as mentioned above, the disease-bearing lung tissue is now separated step by step. The adjacent and regional lymph nodes are also removed. Once the diseased tissue has been completely separated, it can be picked up with a plastic bag and removed from the chest cavity through one of the skin incisions.
The duration of the surgery depends on the extent and location of the diseased tissue, and the patient's state of health also plays a role.
Risks and Side Effects
In contrast to open lobectomy, minimally invasive VATS lobectomy requires significantly smaller incisions, and, in addition, rib spreading can be omitted. This results in reduced tissue damage and, consequently, more rapid rehabilitation of patients and significantly less pain after surgery. Therefore, although VATS lobectomy is the more patient-friendly alternative, it is technically more demanding and is only performed in specific centers by specially trained surgical staff.
Recovery and Prognosis
Since patients recover comparatively quickly from VATS lobectomy, early mobilization is possible. This leads to a reduced risk of complications, which means that the inpatient stay is usually shorter, and patients can leave the hospital after just a few days.
Since minimally invasive VATS lobectomy achieves similar long-term results, it is preferable to open lobectomy in many cases, provided that the technical requirements can be met. An important component of VATS lobectomy is the precise visualization and removal of regional lymph nodes. Examining the removed structures allows further measures such as chemotherapy to be initiated, leading to an improved prognosis.
Which Doctors and Clinics Are Specialized in VATS Lobectomy?
Every patient who needs a doctor wants the best medical care. Therefore, the patient is wondering where to find the best clinic. As this question cannot be answered objectively and a reliable doctor would never claim to be the best, we can only rely on the doctor's experience.
We will help you find an expert for your condition. All listed doctors and clinics have been reviewed by us for their outstanding specialization in VATS lobectomy and are awaiting your inquiry or request for treatment.
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