Robotic Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (RATS)
RATS is a minimally invasive procedure similar to VATS, but a highly specialized surgical robot is utilized to perform many parts of the surgery. The robotic instruments are inserted into the chest through very small incisions made by the surgeon. These instruments allow improved visualization, dexterity, and precision during the surgery. Similar to VATS, this type of surgery does not require any spreading of ribs and also causes much less postoperative pain with a faster recovery. All of the involved lung tissue and any potentially affected lymph nodes can be removed with this approach. The nature and extent of the malignancy will determine the amount of tissue that needs to be removed and any possible associated procedures that may be necessary. Postoperative length of stay after this surgery can be as little as 2-3 days.
Pre-op routine: Before your surgery, your surgeon will see and examine you as well as review all pertinent labs, imaging, and tests. You will have ample opportunity to ask questions and gain a full understanding of the nature of your disease process and the surgery to treat that disease. You will have lab tests, lung function tests, EKG, and chest x-ray prior to surgery. Your preoperative instructions will be provided to you in office. Follow them, and call the office with any needs or concerns.