Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery

VATS for...

pleural biopsies

lung biopsies

wedge resections

lung cancer

esophageal cancer

With this technological advance, the Thoracic Surgery team at Fox Chase Cancer Center can offer potentially curative surgery to patients who might not have qualified in the past.

Surgical Treatment for
Cancers of the Lung

Walter J. Scott, MD, FACS

Walter J. Scott, MD, FACS, chief of thoracic surgery at Fox Chase, is one of the area's most experienced surgeons in the use of VATS for lobectomy to treat lung cancer.

Surgeons at Fox Chase use Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS) to perform lung biopsies, pleural biopsies, wedge resections and lobectomies for patients with lung cancer, esophageal cancer, mediastinal tumors, Pancoast tumors and tumors of the chest wall.

Thoracic surgeons use VATS most often for removing a lobe of a cancerous lung through 2 to 4 small incisions.

Conventional, open lobectomy usually requires making a 6- to 10-inch incision, cutting the major chest muscles, and spreading or even removing ribs. With VATS, these procedures are no longer necessary. Instead, the surgeon gains access to the chest by inserting a state-of-the-art telescope, video camera and surgical tools into a small space between the ribs.

Reducing the Need
for Major Surgery

Benefit to Patients:
  • reduced post-operative pain
  • faster recovery
  • shorter hospital stay
  • reduced scarring
  • minimal trauma to the chest wall

Dr. Walter J. Scott was the first surgeon in the Delaware Valley to investigate the use of ultrasound bronchoscopy (endobronchial ultrasound) to evaluate lymph nodes in the chest, a procedure that can potentially reduce the need for invasive surgery. He also offers robotic surgery for chest tumors, using the ViKY® system — a robotically controlled holder for the scope and camera. This new robotic technology serves as a "third hand" for the surgeon, providing greater precision and control in VATS procedures.

Shorter Recovery

Minimally Invasive SurgeryToday, using minimally invasive techniques, surgeons can perform surgery with fewer complications, improved quality of life and better outcomes, and without compromising oncologic principles.

Prashant C. Shah, MD

Dr. Prashant C. Shah, MD,
Thoracic Oncology
Attending Surgeon

A Magnet-qualified nursing staff and innovative rehabilitation techniques such as the Thoracic Walker give Fox Chase patients a good environment for quicker recovery.

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Success Stories Read
VATS helped
Charlie Gallen