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All You Need to Know About Minimally Invasive Surgery for Cancer of the Lung

Surgery is always a part of the treatment options for patients with lung cancer. It is usually administered to patients with stage 1 or 2 lung cancer.  Lung cancer surgery entails removing a section of the lung, also known as lobectomy. A study found that patients who undergo lobectomy live longer compared to when they received radiation therapy or any other operation that was less extensive.

The problem with lobectomy is that muscles can be affected and ribs fractured in the process because doctors have to first perform a thoracotomy in the chest to access the lungs.  That is why researchers have been working tirelessly to find ways to perform minimally invasive surgeries for lung cancer where smaller incisions are used to insert instruments and video cameras. The surgeon uses the visual feedback from the camera to remove the cancerous part of the lung – also known as video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS).

Here’s what you should know about minimally invasive procedures:

  • There is an increase in robotic surgery which is a form of minimally invasive surgery where a surgeon uses remote robotic equipment.
  • The type of surgery is less painful, with very few complications, especially in high-risk patients such as those with heart disease, emphysema, and older patients. In addition, patients who go through robotic minimally invasive procedures and VATS have reduced recovery time.
  • Minimally invasive surgery will not work on patients with comorbidities that increase the risk or those who have larger tumors or tumors that are difficult to reach. In this case, open surgery is used instead.

Minimally invasive procedures are very complex and sophisticated operations and must be performed by a properly trained surgeon to reduce risks and complications. Preferable surgeons are those with years of experience specializing in non-heart chest surgeries.

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