For some surgical procedures, an endoscopic or "keyhole" approach may be performed. This approach may also be referred to as port access surgery or video-assisted surgery. The port access surgery technique allows surgeons to use one to four small (5 - 10 mm) incisions or "ports" in the chest wall between the ribs. An endoscope or thoracoscope (thin video instrument that has a small camera at the tip) and surgical instruments are placed through the incisions. The scope transmits a picture of the internal organs on a video monitor so the surgeon can get a closer view of the surgical area while performing the procedure.
Types of surgeries that may be performed using the innovative port-access or "keyhole" approach include
- CABG surgery
- Valve surgery
- Bi-ventricular pacemaker lead placement on the surface of the left ventricle
- Minimally invasive surgery for atrial fibrillation: Specialized instruments are used to create new pathways for the electrical impulses that trigger the heartbeat. Unlike traditional surgery for atrial fibrillation, there is no large chest wall incision, and the heart is not stopped during the procedure.
Some types of thoracic surgery
Video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS), also called the thoracoscopy or pleuroscopy, is a minimally invasive surgical technique that may be used during some types of thoraicic surgeries, such as partial resection of the lung, lung biopsy, lobectomy, drainage of pleural effusions, or pericardial and mediastinal biopsies.