CTSA Logomark in front of red decorative line

Thoracic Surgery Related Procedures

Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS)

VATS is a minimally invasive technique that allows surgeons to view the inside of the chest cavity using a thin video camera with small incisions. It is most often used to diagnose the source of lung or chest wall problems, drain and prevent fluid from building up around the lungs, to remove or biopsy tumors, and to treat sudden collapse of the lung. This is usually done with a single 3-5 cm incision, along with two additional 1 cm incisions. It does not require spreading of the ribs and results in a faster recovery, a shorter hospital stay, and less pain. The expected hospital stay is usually 2-4 days, with a return to normal activities within 2-4 weeks.

Robotic Assisted Thoracic Surgery

Robotic assisted thoracic surgery uses the FDA approved, DaVinci Surgical Robot, which has 10x3D magnification and wrist articulation with 8 degrees of freedom. It provides the same traditional surgery through the most minimally invasive approach. Robotic procedures are performed with improved visualization, more precise movements, less blood loss, less pain, shorter hospital stays, quicker recovery, and an earlier return to work. Dr. Price comes to Colorado as one of only four surgeons in the state performing robotic lobectomies, distinguishing Cardiac & Thoracic Surgery Associates as the only provider in southern Colorado. Robotic lobectomies are very prevalent on the East Coast, but there are only 10 surgeons in the surrounding states (Wyoming, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas) performing robotic lobectomies. We at Penrose Hospital are so excited to bring this technology to the community of Colorado Springs.

Cervical Mediastinoscopy

Cervical mediastinoscopy is a surgical outpatient procedure that may be used to biopsy the lymph nodes in the center of the chest (Mediastinum) that drain the lungs. Lymph node biopsies may be done to look for cancer, infection, or other benign diseases. It may also be used to evaluate the extent of masses in the middle of the chest. A 1inch incision is made on the neck just above the center of your breastbone (sternum). A small lighted video scope is then inserted through the opening along the outside of the airway (trachea). The lymph nodes can then be biopsied through the scope.

Open Thoracic Surgery

Traditionally, thoracic surgery has been performed through a thoracotomy, which is a surgical incision made between the ribs. The incision is approximately 10-15 cm and often results in the need to cut or spread the ribs to get adequate visualization. Typical procedures performed via this approach include removal of the lung or a portion of lung, esophagus, or chest wall tumors, and repairs of the esophagus, lung, or major blood vessels. This approach allows the surgeon to have direct access to all organs within that side of the chest cavity. The average hospital stay is 4-5 days, with a return to normal activities within 6-8 weeks.