Thoracic surgery refers to surgery performed on the heart, lungs and esophagus. Thoracic surgery is performed for cancer as well as a range of non-cancerous (benign) conditions. When lifestyle changes, medication or other less invasive treatments do not help your condition, surgery is often recommended. If your doctor suggests surgery, learning about all available treatment options can help you to make the best decision for your situation and ease any anxiety you may feel about surgery. You may also want to find a doctor who specializes in the procedure and approach for your specific condition.
All surgeries carry risk, but traditional open surgery for certain thoracic conditions have specific drawbacks such as a long incision and rib-spreading to access the chest cavity (sternotomy) which is associated with pain, trauma, a long recovery and risk of infection. Fortunately, less invasive surgical options are often available. The most common is conventional laparoscopic surgery. With this approach, your surgeon uses small incisions to insert long-shafted instruments to operate on the targeted organ or tissue. Laparoscopy is effective for many routine procedures, but has limits when the procedure, patient’s anatomy or condition is challenging or complex.
If you need surgery to treat your thoracic condition, you may be a candidate for robotic-assisted surgery — a safe, effective and minimally invasive procedure. Using the most advanced technology available today, robotic-assisted surgery allows your doctor to perform delicate and complex operations through a few tiny incisions with increased vision, precision, dexterity and control. The following benefits to the patient include:
- Shorter hospital stay
- Less pain and scarring
- Less blood loss and risk of infection
- Less anesthesia
- Quicker recovery and return to normal daily activities
Physician performing robotic thoracic surgery: