Undergoing minimally invasive thoracic surgery yields numerous benefits for the patient, such as significantly reduced post-operative discomfort and a faster recovery.
It also causes less tissue scarring, which means that they can successfully and safely have a second procedure in the future, if necessary.
However, before opting for minimally invasive thoracic surgery, your health has to be thoroughly assessed to determine whether you are eligible for it.
Accordingly, your physician will ask you to go through some of the following tests and medical examinations, depending on the specific pulmonary issue you experience:
Almost every condition or disease occurring in the thoracic cavity can be successfully attended to via a minimally invasive approach. Nevertheless, deciding for it when it comes to treating very severe or extremely complex lung-related problems might be ill-advised, as a larger incision is usually more suitable in these cases.
Supposing you are a good candidate for minimally invasive thoracic surgery and opt for it, the procedure will go as follows. After general anesthesia takes effect, the surgeon will make three incisions in your breastbone, each of approximately one inch. While a fiber optic camera provides the operating team with complex, real-time images of the inside of your chest cavity, the appropriate medical instruments will be inserted through the incisions to restore the proper functioning of your lungs or remove the malignant tumor. Subsequently, the surgical cuts will be securely closed with stitches and a sterile dressing will be applied over each of them to protect the wounds until they heal.
Minimally invasive surgery is effective in case of heart conditions that are not extremely severe or complex. Patients who had several complex surgeries in the past might not qualify for minimally invasive surgery. For those who are eligible for this procedure, here are some of the conditions that can be treated:
Some of the main advantages for the patients who undergo minimally invasive interventions are:
Due to the minimally invasive nature of this type of surgery, you will spend less time in the hospital after the intervention, somewhere around 2 to 5 days, depending on the disease that required the intervention. During your hospitalization period, you will take the same steps as patients who undergo traditional open-heart surgery. At first, you will be taken to the intensive care unit, where your vital signals will be monitored and you’ll require intubation for a couple of days, until your normal functions like eating are restored. You will receive the necessary treatment to alleviate any pain you might feel. Keep in mind that after minimally invasive surgery the pain is usually dull.
Within several weeks after your intervention, you will be fully recovered. To make the recovery easier and avoid complications (which are very rare after this type of surgery), you should follow these recommendations: