Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery
Since its introduction, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) has become more widespread and its popularity has grown. Because of the enormous technical development with optimized instruments and sophisticated imaging technology, VATS has become the technique of choice for diagnostic procedures in cases of lung biopsy, interstitial lung disease, peripheral pulmonary nodule, intrapleural effusion, and primary pleural diseases. Beyond diagnostics, VATS with therapeutic intent has become increasingly important and is now used for treating empyema and pneumothorax as well as for anatomic lung resections. Rare diagnostic and therapeutic indications such as hemothorax, chylothorax, pericardial effusion, tamponade, mediastinal cysts and tumors, sympathectomy, TNM staging for lung cancer, and metastasectomy have become almost routine. The use of VATS for treating malignant diseases with anatomic resections and a curative intent is increasing, with strict adherence to the usual oncologic principles.