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VATS and Thoracoscopy

What is VATS and when can it be used?

Thoracoscopy is the term used to describe the internal examination and resection of disease in the pleural cavity and thoracic (chest) cavity.

​VATS is Video-assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery. This procedure uses cameras that are introduced through small incisions to produce images of the lungs and pleural cavity onto TV screens to assist the surgical team in navigating the surgery. Additional incisions are used to introduce a variety of specialized surgical equipment to facilitate the operation. These small incisions are referred to as "ports" and are advantageous because their small size allows for faster healing, shorter hospital stays and less incidence of post operative infection.

VATS can be used for a wide variety of diagnostic, cancer staging and palliative procedures. Many patients with lung cancer can be treated using a VATS procedure depending on the location of the tumor.

Our surgeons who perform this procedure

This information is provided by the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. It is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.


CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue

Room: 6111

Aurora, CO 80045


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