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What is video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)?

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a less invasive surgical procedure for treating early stage lung cancer. During this procedure, the surgeon places a small hollow tube with a video camera attached to it into your chest. This tube, or scope, helps him see the tumor. Only small surgical cuts (incisions) are needed to make room for the tube, so you have less pain and a shorter recovery period than with standard surgery.

Most experts recommend the VATS procedure only be used for tumors that are smaller than three to four centimeters (about an inch and a half).

This surgery requires more technical skill than the standard procedure. It is important that it be done by a specially trained and experienced surgeon.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.