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Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows doctors to see inside the chest and lungs.

What is video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)?

VATS is a surgical procedure that allows doctors to see inside the chest and lungs. It is a form of minimally invasive surgery which can be used to do several different surgical investigations and procedures. Occasionally, VATS is not suitable and another technique may be used, such as an open procedure (thoracotomy). Your surgeon will discuss this with you before the procedure.

What are the benefits of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)?

VATS allows investigations and procedures to inform diagnosis and further intervention as necessary.

What happens during video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)?

VATS is usually done using a general anaesthetic, which means you will be asleep for the surgery. Your surgeon will make cuts (incisions) in your chest and insert the thoracoscope and any other instruments that are needed. After the surgeon has finished the surgery, they will insert some small tubes into the chest. These are known as 'chest drains' and allow any fluid or air that collects to leak out. Any samples of tissue taken from your chest or lungs will be sent to the laboratory for further testing.

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