A team of doctors at a private hospital in Mohali introduced a new technique — Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery — to successfully treat a 70-year-old man suffering from lung cancer here recently. This minimally invasive surgery is a unique and first of its kind procedure to be performed in this part of the country. The team was led by Dr. Vijay Jagdish Jagad, Consultant, surgical oncology.
This unique technology uses a thoracoscope that is introduced into the patient’s chest via a 5-6 cm small incision. The tumor can then be excised through videos transmitted through a thoracoscope onto a video monitor guiding the surgeon in performing the procedure. The endoscope was interested through a puncture in the chest wall situated between the ribs.
Dr. Vijay Jagdish Jagad said, “The patient was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumor of the lung. The patient was advised a Dotanoc Pet Scan which revealed lesion confined to the left lung. If left undiagnosed and untreated, then it could have spread to his brain, liver, and bones and harmed him immensely. The patient was advised to undergo VATS Left upper lobectomy. The surgery went on successfully and everything went on smooth. The patient was discharged on the 5th post-operative day.”
The new VATS technique has multiple advantages over open procedures. It is minimally invasive which means it is less painful, the patient suffers a minimal loss of blood and has swifter recovery.
The technique also shows a minimal effect on a patient’s immune status which is a definite improvement over open surgery. The chances of post-operative infections are also lesser. VATS causes the least damage to the ribs and intercostal nerves and hence post-operative lung function is maintained and it is beneficial for those who need post-operative chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
“VATS can be performed for various lung pathologies like Lobectomy (surgical removal of a lobe of an organ) and Pneumonectomy (surgical removal of a lung or part of a lung) for lung cancer, Drainage of Empyema Thoracic (condition where thick-walled pus-filled cavity is present within the pleural cavity), Lung reduction surgery for patients of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Bullectomy (Patient who develop large air-filled lung space due to chronic lung disease), etc. VATS technology causes minimal trauma and speedy recovery hence reduces the overall morbidity of the procedure,” added Dr. Jagad.
Lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer-related death among men. The global incidence of lung cancer is increasing.
Lung cancer is commonly diagnosed at an advanced stage where the patient presents with cough with expectoration (discharge matter from throat/lungs by coughing or hawking and spitting) or shortness of breath.
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