Types of Thoracic Surgery

Just a decade ago, most surgeries were "open," or invasive procedures in which a surgeon made a large incision. In the case of lung cancer, the cut could be several inches long as a surgeon maneuvered between the ribs to remove a tumor. Today, minimally invasive techniques have changed the standard of care for virtually all types of surgery.

Here at Jupiter Medical Center, our thoracic surgeons are experienced in the latest minimally invasive techniques, cutting-edge robotic technology and multidisciplinary collaboration across disciplines and fields of study. Our expert team uses the latest advances including robotic-assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) and video-assisted thorascopic surgery (VATS).

Traditionally, surgeons use thoracotomy surgery to biopsy or remove tissue from the lungs. This open chest procedure has a higher risk of infection and complications as well as a longer recovery time for patients. Through minimally invasive RATS, surgeons reduce these risks with a more accurate procedure.


Robotic-assisted thoracic surgery

RATS requires only small incisions in the chest, rather than one large incision. The surgeon views a magnified, 3D image of the patient’s lungs and chest. Then, using robotic technology to translate hand movements into precise actions, the surgeon performs the procedure. Patients experience less pain, scarring and since the RATS procedure causes less trauma to the body, recovery time is also reduced.


Video-assisted thorascopic surgery
Another refinement of standard lung cancer surgery, VATS allows surgeons to operate through two to four openings between the ribs while viewing the patient’s internal organs on a video monitor. Each opening is less than two inches in diameter, rather than the 6 to 10-inch incisions common in open thoracic surgery. Once again, the patient benefits from less pain, less risk of infection, less scarring, shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery.


Da Vinci Robotic Surgery

The Frank E. & Mary D. Walsh Robotic Surgery Program at Jupiter Medical Center has one of the most comprehensive programs in the area and offers the leading technology of the da Vinci® Xi™ and Si™ Surgical Systems. The recent introduction of the Xi system established Jupiter Medical Center as one of the first facilities in the world to possess this technology.


If your physician recommends surgery to treat lung cancer or another thoracic condition, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive da Vinci® surgery. The da Vinci® Xi™ and Si™ Surgical Systems are sophisticated robotic platforms designed to enable complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach. The da Vinci Xi and Si Systems consists of an ergonomic surgeon's console, a patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms, a high-performance 3D/HD vision system and proprietary EndoWrist® instruments with Intuitive® motion.


During robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at the system console next to the patient, and has a 3D view inside the patient’s body while controlling the robot’s four arms in real time. The system translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist and finger actions into precise movements with the da Vinci’s miniaturized instruments.


Patients realize tremendous benefit with minimally invasive robotic surgery including fewer complications, less blood loss, lower risk of infection, shorter hospital stay, less pain, and faster return to normal quality of life.