Pleural Effusions

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery

Our thoracic surgeons use minimally invasive techniques for conditions of the lung and chest wall. Today, they perform many minimally invasive procedures each year using video-assisted and robot-assisted approaches:

Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) involves insertion of a long, thin tube (called a thoracoscope) through a small incision, or port. The thoracoscope’s miniature camera allows the surgeon to view and examine the chest cavity. Additional specially designed instruments inserted through one or two more ports enable the surgeon to remove fluid or tissue.


Pleural Effusion

Pleural effusion is the presence of excess fluid in the pleural space, the area between the lungs and the chest wall. VATS surgery may be performed to remedy this problem by: removing restricting tissue around the lung; applying medicine to reduce fluid accumulation; or inserting a temporary drainage tube, which substantially reduces symptoms associated with the fluid collection.