Minimally Invasive/ Robotic Lung Surgery

Overview

A majority of procedures now performed on the lung are done using video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS). Using small,1 cm incisions, a camera and surgical instruments are placed into the chest to enable surgeons to perform everything from simple biopsies to complete lobectomies. VATS procedures are associated with less post-operative pain, shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery compared to open thoracotomies.

Lung nodules

With the advent of new radiological screening scans, many patients are found to have lung nodules. In order to properly evaluate these nodules, biopsies are necessary. Using VATS techniques, patients can undergo complete removal of nodules for both diagnosis and treatment purposes. Most patients are able to be discharged the day after surgery and return to work within two weeks.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in this country. Surgery is one of the main therapies for the treatment of lung cancer. Additionally, surgery is necessary to assist in the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer. VATS has helped simplify the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. Using minimally invasive techniques, surgeons are able to completely evaluate the chest cavity in order to properly stage and treat patients. If a complete lobectomy is necessary, VATS and robotic lobectomies can be performed in many patients with lung cancer.

Minimally Invasive/ Robotic Esophageal Surgery

Overview

A variety of disorders which affect the esophagus are now able to be treated with new minimally invasive techniques. Surgeons at our institution are using robotic technology to operate on the esophagus with small incisions. Instead of large thoracotomies, these smaller incisions allow quicker post-operative recovery and are less painful for the patient.

Benign esophageal disorders

Two common benign esophageal motility disorders are achalasia and esophageal diverticulum. Achalasia occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter fails to relax. A variety of treatment forms are available, including dilation and botox injection. For those patients who fail medical management, surgical treatments can provide a cure. Esophageal diverticulum is an outpouching of the esophagus which requires surgical therapy to remove the diverticulum and treat the underlying cause of the diverticulum. Both disorders are able to be treated through a variety of minimally invasive and robotic techniques. Combined laparoscopic, thoracoscopic, and robotic techniques, offer patients an invidualized approach to their disease process.

Tumors of the esophagus

The treatment of benign and malignant tumors of the esophagus can now be approach through many minimally invasive techniques. For patients with esophageal cancer, minimally invasive and robotic techniques are being applied in the removal of the entire esophagus. These techniques help to improve recovery and decrease pain in patients.

Benign tumors and cysts of the esophagus are able to be approached and treated using VATS and robotic techniques. This saves the patient the pain and long recovery periods associated with large thoracotomies.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common disease affecting millions of people in this country. Common symptoms of heartburn, regurgitation, cough and asthma may be related to GERD. Medical management is very successful in managing many of the symptoms of this disease. However, patients who do not respond to medical therapy or younger patients who do not want life-long medication may be candidates for surgical correction of the esophageal anti-reflux mechanism.

Presently, our surgeons perform minimally invasive anti-reflux surgery through small incisions in the abdomen. Patients' hospital stay is decreased to 1-2 days and they are able to return to full activity within 2 weeks after surgery.

Thymectomy

The thymus gland is situated under the sternum. There are several reasons that necessitate removal of this gland, including thymomas and myasthenia gravis. Previously, patients required large sternotomies in order to remove the thymus gland. Minimally invasive incisions and robotic technology now allow our surgeons to routinely remove the thymus gland for tumors or in the treatment of myasthenia gravis through smaller incisions and a less invasive manner. Our surgeons performed the world's first complete endoscopic robotic thymectomy for myasthenia gravis (video). Our minimally invasive techniques and robotic technology enable our patients to return to normal activity quicker and experience less pain.

To view movie, click here. To download movie, click here


Mediastinal tumors

The evaluation and treatment of mediastinal masses found on x-rays can be done through minimally invasive incisions and video assistance. While some tumors are benign and can be removed surgically, others need only a biopsy for diagnosis. Providing less invasive means of diagnosis and treatment saves the patient more painful, larger incisions.

Hyperhydrosis

Hyperhydrosis is a disorder characterized by profuse extremity sweating aluminum chloride and botulinum toxin. A minimally invasive surgical technique has become a very successful option for many patients. Bilateral thoracoscopic sympathectomy is a highly successful, minimally invasive procedure associated with over 95% satisfaction in our patients. This procedure allows patients to return to work in days and requires only an overnight hospital admission.


   

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