Surgical thoracoscopy (or pleuroscopy) has historically been underused in the diagnosis and therapy of diseases of the chest. The rapid developments in laparoscopy in recent years caused thoracic surgeons to reconsider the use of endoscopic techniques in surgery of the chest. Advances in video camera technology and the use of digital processing technology so expanded the potential of thoracoscopy that an entirely new set of procedures, called video-assisted thoracic surgery, has emerged. This article reviews situations in which video-assisted procedures have proven useful, the techniques by which these procedures are performed, and the rationale behind using the video-assisted in lieu of the open approach. Video-assisted surgery often allows one to accomplish the same goal as the comparable open procedure but with less morbidity and a shorter hospital stay. With continued development of instrumentation, increasingly complex procedures continue to be accomplished. It is important for radiologists to be aware of these new developments in minimally invasive surgery, as the techniques have major implications for the practice of chest medicine and surgery as a whole. The evolution of the management of the solitary pulmonary nodule is but one example of the way video-assisted thoracic surgery has called into question the traditional approach to diseases of the chest.
View details for Web of Science ID A1995TA73300017
View details for PubMedID 7572485