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What is video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery?

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Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) checks for problems on the outside of your lungs.

You'll get general anesthesia for this procedure, which means you won't be awake for it. Your doctor puts a breathing tube down your throat and into your lungs and keeps tabs on your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and heart rate.

The doctor makes up to three small cuts on your chest between your ribs, then puts a thin, lighted tube with a camera on the end and uses tiny tools to pull out some cells.

From: What to Expect From a Lung Biopsy WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Tests for Non-Small Lung Cancer."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Lung Cancer: Non-Small Cell: Diagnosis."

Blewitt, C.J. . 2001. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Canadian Cancer Society: "Thoracoscopy."

Columbia University Department of Surgery: "Bronchoscopy/Lung Biopsy."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Lung Biopsy," "Pleural Biopsy."

Lungevity Foundation: "Biopsies."

Medpage Today: "Lung Biopsy Risks Not Uncommon."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Biopsy," "Bronchoscopy."

Medscape: "Transthoracic Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health: "Lung Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Bronchoscopy."

UpToDate: "Air Embolism."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Lung Biopsy."

University of Southern California: "A Patient's Guide to Lung Surgery."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on October 16, 2017

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Tests for Non-Small Lung Cancer."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Lung Cancer: Non-Small Cell: Diagnosis."

Blewitt, C.J. . 2001. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Canadian Cancer Society: "Thoracoscopy."

Columbia University Department of Surgery: "Bronchoscopy/Lung Biopsy."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Lung Biopsy," "Pleural Biopsy."

Lungevity Foundation: "Biopsies."

Medpage Today: "Lung Biopsy Risks Not Uncommon."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Biopsy," "Bronchoscopy."

Medscape: "Transthoracic Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health: "Lung Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Bronchoscopy."

UpToDate: "Air Embolism."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Lung Biopsy."

University of Southern California: "A Patient's Guide to Lung Surgery."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on October 16, 2017

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What is an open lung biopsy (limited thoracotomy)?

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