What is VATS?

Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) is minimally invasive thoracic surgery. During a video-assisted thoracic surgery procedure, a tiny camera and surgical instruments are inserted into your chest through a small incision in your chest wall. The thoracoscope transmits images of the inside of your chest onto a video monitor, guiding the surgeon in performing the procedure. Its main benefit has been the avoidance of a thoracotomy incision or median sternotomy. This allows a shorter operating time, less postoperative complications, and earlier return to normal activity compared to open surgery. The average length of hospital stay is 1-3 days when compared to 5-7 days for open surgery.