Vats Lobectomy

What is a VATS lobectomy?

VATS Lobectomy is a term used to describe minimally invasive resection of the lung. Instead of making a large incision on the chest, cutting through chest wall muscle, and cutting/spreading the ribs, small incisions are made through which Dr. Blackmon can pass instruments and perform lung resection.

Who is a candidate for VATS lobectomy?

If you have a suspicious lung nodule that is likely lung cancer or have a known diagnosis of early stage lung cancer, you may be a candidate for VATS lobectomy.

What kinds of procedure should I expect prior to VATS lobectomy?

Patients must be seen in Dr. Blackmon’s  thoracic surgery clinic, be evaluated, and consent for surgery. The evaluation involves filling out a history of your medical illnesses and physical complaints, reviewing old films, and potentially ordering more exams or testing to prepare you for a successful surgery. Please see the checklist for pre-operative VATS lobectomy evaluation:

  • History and physical exam
  • CT scan of the chest
  • PET scan
  • Pulmonary function testing
  • Cardiology clearance (when needed)
  • Biopsy of the nodule
  • Staging of the cancer (which guides our therapy)

What should I bring with me for my appointment?

Bring your old scans, chest x-rays, and any tests that have been done to evaluate your nodule. If you have had previous surgery to the chest, then please bring a copy of your old surgery reports and hospital records.

What are the benefits of VATS lobectomy?

Numerous studies report the following benefits of VATS lobectomy: less pain, less blood loss, less inflammation, shorter stay in the hospital, earlier chest tube removal, quicker return to work, improved ability to receive post-operative treatment when needed, less scar, and equal or better cancer survival when compared to “open” lobectomy.