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Thoracic Surgery

Video Assisted Thorascopy

Minimal scarring, maximal care

For most cases, Geisinger thoracic surgeons use video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) – a type of minimally invasive surgery – to diagnose and treat problems in the chest. The camera-aided procedures use smaller incisions than conventional thoracotomy.  For you, that means a quicker, more comfortable surgery, with a much smaller scar.

During a VATS procedure, one or more small incisions are made. A miniature fiber-optic camera (called a thoracoscope) is inserted through one incision, and other small instruments are inserted through this or other small incisions. The camera transmits images of the inside of the chest on a video monitor, guiding the surgeon in maneuvering the instruments to complete the procedure.

Advanced training means better outcomes

Using VATS requires significant skill and a great deal of training. In some cases, VATS must be converted to an open or traditional procedure. In all cases, you want the experience and skill of Geisinger thoracic surgeons, because Geisinger's fellowship-trained thoracic surgeons have been using VATS longer than other area surgeons.  They also perform more complicated VATS and open surgery procedures.

The best way to find out if you’re a candidate for VATS is to talk to your primary care physician or contact one of Geisinger's thoracic surgeons.

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