If you are having a thoracotomy this means that the surgeon will make a large opening in the chest cavity in order to operate on your lungs. This is the most extensive procedure and is used when less invasive methods are not possible, to look more closely at the lungs, or to remove larger portions of the lung.
Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS)
VATS is similar to keyhole surgery, and is much less invasive than open surgery like thoracotomy. The surgeon makes a few small incisions, and uses special instruments and a tiny camera on a scope inserted through the incisions in order to operate on your lung. VATS leads to shorter hospital stays, faster recovery and less pain than open surgeries.
Publication date: December 2014
Review date: May 2021