Video-Assisted Lobectomy as a type of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with approximately 180,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

While surgical resection offers the best chance of a cure for those with early-stage lung cancer, the traditional open-chest approach (called a thoracotomy) typically requires five to seven days of recovery in the hospital, with an extended recovery at home.

Cleveland Clinic thoracic surgeons offer a less invasive surgical approach called a video-assisted lobectomy for select patients as treatment of early-stage lung cancer. This video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) technique reduces a patient’s hospital stay to about three to four days and the patient experiences a more rapid recovery with less pain after VATS lobectomy surgery as compared with the traditional thoracotomy approach.

Cleveland Clinic is one of the few centers in the nation with significant experience in video-assisted lobectomy. In addition, the surgical outcomes of video-assisted lobectomy are comparable to traditional lobectomy outcomes.

What is a lobectomy?

A lobectomy is the surgical removal of a large section of lung. Lobectomy is the most common surgery performed to treat lung cancer.

Lobectomy has been traditionally performed during thoracotomy surgery. During thoracotomy surgery, an incision is made on the side of the chest between the ribs. The ribs are then spread apart so the surgeon can see into the chest cavity and remove the tumor or affected tissue.

Reviewed: 03/16