VATS Versus Open Surgery

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: May 8, 2013

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I had 2 surgery opinions – one would use !0VATS!1, the other would use a traditional open surgery. Are the two equal? I realize VATS may have fewer complications, but I wonder if that procedure compromises the treatment?


Taine Pechet, MD, Thoracic Surgeon at Penn Medicine, responds:

Minimally invasive surgery using VATS, as compared to an open approach (using a thoracotomy), effectively results in the same treatment, but whether or not a particular cancer would be appropriate to use VATS techniques for depends on the particulars of tumor size, location, cancer type, etc. There are fewer complications with VATS, so it is a good approach as long as the same procedure can be accomplished. What's important is what is done on the inside, and as long as it can be done with smaller incisions that will result in less pain, faster recovery, better lung function (all in the short term), then it is a good choice.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Focus on Lung Cancer transcript.

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