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Thoracic Surgery

Thoracoscopy

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Thoracoscopy is the insertion of an endoscope, a narrow tube with a viewing mirror or camera attachment, through a very small incision in the chest wall.

Purpose

Thoracoscopy makes it possible for a physician to examine the lungs or other structures in the chest cavity without performing a thoracotomy (opening the chest cavity with a large incision). Many surgical procedures, especially biopsies, can be accomplished with thoracoscopy. The procedure is used to:

  • assess lung cancer
  • take a biopsy (tissue samples) for study
  • determine the cause of fluid in the chest cavity
  • introduce medications or other treatments directly into the lungs
  • treat accumulated fluid, pus, or blood in the space around the lungs

For many patients, thoracoscopy means they can avoid the complications of open chest surgery, reducing pain, hospital stay, and recovery time.

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