The state of the art and future directions of robotic-assisted thoracic surgery

  • Rebecca Maria Shulman
  • Abbas El-Sayed AbbasEmail author
Review Article


Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) has been widely adopted in early-stage lung cancer as an oncologically sound and minimally invasive approach with certain proven short-term advantages over open thoracotomy especially in terms of postoperative morbidity. Nevertheless, VATS is associated with visual and mechanical limitations, many of which were overcome with the introduction of robotic surgical techniques. Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) can approximate the visual perspective of open surgery, while utilizing instruments that mimic the maneuverability of the human wrist and provide magnified three-dimensional imaging. The added cost in addition to the effort required of surgeons to master RATS may be ultimately compensated by enhanced surgical efficiency, access to rapidly developing technical innovations, and the potential for improved patient outcomes.


State of the art Future directions Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Author Shulman, Rebecca Maria declares that she has no conflict of interest.

The author, Abbas E. Abbas, MD, is a consultant for Boston Scientific, Inc. and Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Neither entity was involved in the preparation of this manuscript.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

No consent needed for a review article.


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Copyright information

© Indian Association of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgeons 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Thoracic Medicine and SurgeryLewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University Health SystemPhiladelphiaUSA

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