Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)

Lately, the use of video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) have turned out to be one of the most commonly used techniques in mesothelioma diagnosis. Here, mesothelioma patients are usually put under general anesthesia, and then several small ports are cut through the wall of the chest,in the case of pleural mesothelioma. Then a small camera, through a scope is inserted into one of the incision, and tissues specimens or samples are retrieved from other openings using other surgical instruments. In several cases, thoracotomy can be replaced by this video-assisted technique, which needs a much bigger port to get access to the chest cavity, and because of its minimal invasion, mesothelioma patients usually have less pain after the procedure and a short time to recover. Thoracotomy has been used in peritoneal mesothelioma.


For pleural mesothelioma the surgeon may need to view the inside of the chest cavity with an instrument known as a thoracoscope. An incision is made through the wall of the chest and the thoracoscope is inserted into the chest between two ribs. Treatment for mesothelioma patients are often times carried out in a hospital with simply a local anesthetic.

If there is accumulation of fluid in the chest, for pleural mesothelioma your doctor may have to drain the fluid by inserting a needle into the chest and gentle remove it using suction pressure. This is known as thoracentesis.


In the case of peritoneal mesothelioma, the surgeon may also need to look inside the abdomen with an instrument called a peritoneoscope. The peritoneoscope is inserted into an incision made in the abdomen. This test is often times done under a local anesthetic.

If there is peritoneal effusion, as usual in case of peritoneal mesothelioma, the surgeon may also need to drain the fluid, by inserting a needle into your abdomen and gently remove the fluid using suction pressure. This procedure is known as paracentesis.

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