VATS Lung Biopsy (Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery)

Submitted by Nic on October 18, 2012

In case of people who may be suffering from any serious lung problems, a lung biopsy may be carried out, for diagnostic, or treatment purposes. Conditions like cancer and tumors are evaluated through various lung biopsy procedures. There are various techniques that can be used to perform lung biopsies, such as the Bronchoscopy, the Needle Biopsy, the Open Lung Biopsy and the VATS lung biopsy.

The Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery, more commonly referred to, as a vats lung biopsy procedure is a minimally invasive technique through which samples of the lung tissues are obtained for testing purposes. This is a fairly new technique, which is usually performed on select patients in place of an open lung biopsy. In most cases, people are advised to undergo a right vats lung biopsy. While carrying out the vats lung biopsy, the surgeon will need to make a few incisions on the chest wall of the patient. Before making any of the incisions, anesthesia is applied on to the area. A thorascope or a thin, hollow tube, which has a light and a minute video camera mounted on to it, is inserted into the body, through one of the incisions that have already been made. Other surgical instruments required to obtain the lung tissues are then inserted through the other incisions. After the tissue samples have been obtained, all the incisions, except one are closed and bandaged. A tube is placed through the open incision so that the fluid can drain out.


After the biopsy is complete, the patient is asked to rest in a recovery room for a couple of hours, for observation purposes. Some of the possible vats lung biopsy complications include pain, light headedness or breathing difficulty. During this time, the nurse monitors the patient's blood pressure, breathing, pulse and temperature. The vats lung biopsy recovery time may vary from person to person, based on age and overall physical condition and during this time, patients are advised to minimize physical activities and avoid driving.

After the sample are sent to the lab, it could take anywhere between a week or two to get the vats lung biopsy results. It is important to consult a doctor for a proper understanding of the results and the appropriate treatment that should be adopted.

Patients are all advised to speak to a doctor, for as much information as possible, on the vats open lung biopsy, before going through the procedure.

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