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Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy

Questions About Surgical Techniques

What is minimally invasive surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery uses advanced surgical techniques, high-definition imaging technology and precision instruments to work through tiny incisions to perform procedures, which results in quicker recovery times and less pain and discomfort than conventional surgical procedures.

What are the benefits of minimally invasive surgery?

Compared to traditional surgery, minimally invasive surgery generally results in less blood loss, fewer complications, shorter hospital stays and a faster return to normal daily activities. Patients may also experience less post-operative pain and scarring with minimally invasive procedures.

Do you perform robotic or minimally invasive surgery?

Yes, our thoracic surgeons are skilled and experienced in all forms of minimally invasive procedures including video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), robotic surgery, endoscopic ultrasound and interventional pulmonology.

What is VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery)?

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgical technique where tiny, keyhole-sized incisions are made in the chest using small surgical instruments. A tiny camera (thoracoscope) is then inserted into the chest area via the small openings. Images from the camera are sent to TV monitors, which help guide the surgeon during surgery. In contrast to conventional open thoracotomy, VATS offers patients many benefits including fewer complications, less pain, faster recovery, a shorter hospital stay and less scarring. VATS is often used to diagnose and treat lung cancer, remove diseased lung sections or lobes, diagnose lung infections and treat collapsed lungs, among other diseases and conditions.

What should I expect after surgery?

Following your surgery, you will be transferred to the recovery area where doctors and support staff will monitor you closely. When you have recovered sufficiently, you will be transferred to a hospital bed where you will be cared for until you are discharged. Fatigue is common after surgery but will improve over time. Keep in mind that you may feel fatigued for several weeks post surgery.

Although your appetite may not be where it was prior to surgery, a normal diet should be resumed as soon as possible. If you appetite has waned, consider adding a nutritional supplement, such as Ensure, to your diet in the interim.

Depending on the severity of your surgery, most patients will experience some post-surgery pain and discomfort. A pain reliever as well as anti-inflammatory medicine can help control the pain.