Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) plays more and more important roles in the diagnosis and treatment of intrathoracic diseases. Herein patients undergoing this procedure by me will be reviewed.
From July 1994 to March 2009, 2,114 patients underwent VATS by me. It included 546 bullectomy for spontaneous pneumothorax, 473 decortication for empyema, 487 pulmonary or pleural biopsies/drainage for undetermined lesions, 283 pulmonary resection (including 55 lobectomy or segmentectomy with or without lymph node dissection) for pulmonary benign or malignant nodules or cavities, 235 mediastinal masses/cysts resection or biopsy, and 90 miscellaneous lesions (traumatic hemopneumothorax, diaphragm or esophageal masses, spine surgery, sympathectomy).
VATS Operation was completed through small ports on the chest wall or planned utility incisions. Conversion to open thoracotomy was performed in 46 of them (2.1%) due to severe adhesion or bleeding from major vessels. Major or minor complications were noted in 56 (2.6%) of them (prolonged air-leakage, bleeding, infection) and 12 (0.6%) of them required re-operation. No surgical related mortality was noted in them.
VATS is a safe and effective method and can be used as the diagnostic or therapeutic tools for selected patients.
Choice of VATS for diagnostic or therapeutic tools is very important. In this review we will compare with other methods (needle biopsy in diagnosis and open thoracotomy in treatment) and analyze their benefits and limitations.
Shi-Ping Luh, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information