A thoracoscopy is a common procedure used to visualise the lung surface and the area surrounding the lungs. Your doctor employs an instrument called a thoracoscope to visualise these areas and collect samples of lymph nodes or lung tissue. They can see your oesophagus, diaphragm, chest wall, and other areas.

Healthcare providers employ thoracoscopy as a part of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). It is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to project images on a monitor in an operating room while the healthcare provider works.

When your healthcare provider employs a thoracoscopy to visualise your lungs and the areas around them, it is a medical diagnostic procedure called thoracoscopy. This procedure is used to visualise the inside of your chest or take tissue samples. Therapeutic thoracoscopy is employed as a part of minimally invasive procedure that is used to treat a specific issue.

Your doctor can employ a video-assisted procedure called a thoracoscopy when they need to:

  • Resect a part of your pleura (the innermost layer of the chest wall).
  • Resect the damaged parts of your lung.
  • Receive information they couldn’t derive from a CT scan, chest X-ray, or ultrasound.
  • Resect a cancerous part of your lung (lung resection).
  • Remove air pockets from your lungs.
  • Take out extra fluid from your pleural space and employ medicine to keep fluid from collecting again (pleurodesis).

If you have mesothelioma or lung cancer, you may be required to undergo this procedure. Your healthcare provider may employ a thoracoscopy when treating malignancy in your oesophagus or thymus gland.

Thoracoscopy vs. thoracotomy

A thoracoscopy is not as invasive as a thoracotomy as it involves a smaller incision. Following are the advantages of a thoracoscopy:

  • Less pain.
  • Quicker recovery time.
  • Fewer complications.

If your healthcare provider can’t do what they need to do safely with a thoracoscopy, you may need a thoracotomy.

Thoracoscopy is performed by a pulmonologist. However, a video-assisted thoracoscopy procedure is performed by a thoracic surgeon. We offer the best thoracoscopy services in Indore.

A few days before the procedure, you may be required to stop taking any medications causing bleeding. Your healthcare provider may suggest you not to drink or eat anything on the day of the procedure.

A thoracoscopic procedure can take half an hour to several hours. More time will be needed if your doctor needs to do something that involves taking more samples.

What to expect during a thoracoscopy

If you undergo a video-assisted thoracoscopic procedure, your doctor will give you general anaesthesia. Thorascopy is performed very rarely with only sedation. Following are the thoracoscopy procedure your surgeon will follow:

  • Give your medication via IV to sedate you or make you sleep during the procedure.
  • Introduce a throat so that a machine can handle your breathing.
  • Make two or three incisions over your fourth, sixth, and seventh ribs.
  • Introduce a thoracoscope into your pleural space and other instruments into other incisions.
  • Perform a surgical procedure or take samples of areas that don’t appear normal.
  • Take the thoracoscope and any other instruments out.
  • Introduce a chest tube into your pleural space so that the air is taken out, reversing your collapsed lung.
  • Suture up your incisions.
  • Wake you up and let you breathe independently.

What to expect after a thoracoscopy

It takes some time to feel alert after getting anaesthesia or sedation. Your mouth and throat may also become numb and you can’t drink or eat when they feel that way. Due to your breathing tube, you may have a sore throat and have a hoarse voice the day after your thoracoscopy. Additionally, you may experience some pain at the place of incisions.

A day or two after your thoracoscopy procedure, you can expect to have a tube in your chest so that your healthcare provider can take biopsies or drain fluid. You will need to undergo a chest X-ray to ensure you are not having any lung issues.

After thoracoscopy surgeries, most people are hospitalised while drainage tubes are in your chest. After a few hours of recovery, it is safe to go home. You will require a relative or friend to drive you home.

As you will be receiving anaesthesia during your thoracoscopy, you won’t experience any pain during the procedure. After that, you will be receiving anaesthesia during the procedure so that you won’t experience any pain during the procedure. Afterwards, you can take pain medications at your incisions.

You can start performing your normal activities again within two weeks of the thoracoscopy. Complete recovery usually takes around 4-6 weeks.

Thoracoscopy is a relatively safe procedure. The mortality rate and complications associated with the procedure is quite low.

The risks associated with thoracoscopy include lung infection or incisions, bleeding, collapsed lung, air near your incision or in the pleural space, fever, fluid around the lung, and a collapsed lung.

Your healthcare provider will let you know if they were able to fix your problem. Additionally, with laboratory results, they can let you know if your spot is benign or malignant. If your condition is malignant, they can let you know where it stands on the cancer staging system. It may take a few days for a hospital laboratory to examine your tissue samples.

If you get home after your procedure and feel fever, difficulty breathing, neck or chest swelling, or fever, you must contact your healthcare provider.

Your healthcare provider can employ a thoracoscopy to detect or treat issues inside your chest with a few small incisions. If you don’t have a clear understanding of the reason for your thoracoscopy, you should ask questions. If you know what to expect, you may feel at ease about the procedure. When preparing for your thoracoscopy and recovering afterward, you should follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

The Department of Pulmonary Medicine at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore, offers comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic care for a diverse range of pulmonological diseases. Our services include endoscopic ultrasound, endo bronchial ultrasound, endobronchial brachytherapy, innovative therapeutic techniques, bronchial thermoplasty and surgical interventions like video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery and lung volume reduction. We also offer treatment for sleep disorders, lung cancers, and lung transplantation. Consult the best pulmonologists in Indore for high quality care for lung diseases.

Our thoracoscopy services offer excellent outcomes matching international standards. Apart from having a fully-equipped Bronchoscopy suite with C-arm facilities, we house a state-of-the-art PFT machine. Our focus is on ensuring the speedy recovery of the patient and helping him return to normal activities of daily life as soon as possible.