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Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS)

By Costas Bizekis, M.D.

The NYU Division of Thoracic Surgery is proud to offer the latest techniques in minimally invasive surgery.

Procedures performed using video-assisted equipment give our surgeons excellent visualization of the area in question and greatly enhance the accuracy and safety of the procedures. Our surgeons use smaller incisions, creating less discomfort and faster recoveries for our patients.

While less invasive methods are often the preferred treatment option for both patient and surgeon, certain cases do not benefit from the technique. Each case is reviewed on an individual basis to determine the best method of treatment.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) procedures include:

  • Lung Resections: Includes lobectomy

  • Drainage of Emypema (Infected Fluid Collection)/Decortication: Drains infected fluid and removes material from the surface of the lung to allow for complete lung expansion

  • Pleurodesis (Chemical Pleurodesis): Drains fluid collections, including those secondary to cancers, and replaces it with a chemical to prevent recurrence

  • Bleb Resection (mechanical pleurodesis): Identifies a ruptured portion of the lung, staples it off and scratches the surface of the chest wall to make the lung stick to the inside of the chest wall. This will prevent the accumulation of air in the chest and possible lung collapse.

  • VATS Sympathectomy: Used to treat hyperhidrosis, (continued excessive sweating of the underarms, feet, and face) after all other types of treatment have failed

  • Biopsies of the Chest: Samples of the lung, chest wall and mediastinum are taken through very small incisions

  • Drainage of Pericardial Effusion: Drains fluid that has accumulated around the heart, a potentially life threatening condition