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Intraoperative view of a benign, intercostal nerve associated schwannoma (a tumor of the posterior mediastinum) during thoracoscopic (VATS) resection
Nearly all tumors that occur in the posterior mediastinum are benign. These tumors are thus ideally suited to minimally invasive, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgical (VATS) approaches. This approach can be used to resect all but the largest neurogenic tumors, bronchogenic cysts, and foregut duplication cysts. VATS permits far less discomfort and faster recovery than the traditional approach via thoracotomy, which requires a larger skin incision, more cutting of muscle, and spreading the ribs.