Surgery Procedure Types
So there are a variety of approaches for lung cancer surgery. The traditional approach is called a posterolateral thoracotomy. It’s a large incision that goes around the side of the chest and up the back. And in that scenario, the surgeon is actually using his or her hands to remove that lung cancer from inside of the chest. There has been a shift toward minimally invasive approaches for thoracic surgery, similar to other surgical specialties. VATS, V A T S, stands for video assisted thoracic surgery. It’s typically three to four small incisions, one of which holds a long skinny scope that goes into the chest. And then there are long skinny instruments that also go into the chest through small incisions while the physician is at the bedside using their hands to control those instruments directly.