Thoracic (Chest) Surgery - Thoracotomy Procedures - Acıbadem
Chest (Thoracic) Surgery

Chest (Thoracic) Surgery

Chest (thoracic) surgery at Acıbadem Turkey

Thoracic surgery treats pathologic disorders within the chest, including lung cancer. The latest minimally invasive techniques are available at Acıbadem Turkey.

What is thoracic surgery?

Thoracic surgery, also known as chest surgery, refers to surgeries on organs located in the chest. It may be needed at any age for many reasons, from congenital abnormalities in infants to traumatic injuries or chest diseases in adults. A thoracic operation can involve the trachea, lungs, mediastinum, diaphragm, esophagus, or chest wall. The most common reason for chest surgery is cancer, including lung cancer and esophageal cancer, but many other conditions may require thoracic surgery, including trauma, gastroesophageal reflux, thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), or hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Thoracic surgeries may be done via open surgery or with minimally invasive techniques.

Thoracotomy procedures

A thoracotomy is a major surgery that involves opening the chest to reach organs within the thorax through the ribs or the breastbone. A thoracic surgeon may decide to perform an open thoracotomy when working on a large area of the chest or lung. It is often used with procedures such as wedge resection (removal of a small piece of lung tissue), lobectomy (removal of a lung lobe), or pneumonectomy (removal of the entire lung). Esophagectomy (removal of a large part of the esophagus) is another common thoracic procedure. Tumors of the thymus, called thymomas, may require the removal of the thymus (thymectomy). In some cases, a thymectomy may be used as part of the treatment for myasthenia gravis.

In Acıbadem’s Thoracic Surgery Department, major chest surgeries are performed in a multidisciplinary manner. Our experienced thoracic surgeons collaborate with specialists in radiology, oncology, and gastroenterology to ensure comprehensive care and positive outcomes for each patient.

Minimally invasive thoracic surgery

Recent medical developments have made thoracic surgery less invasive and more comfortable for patients. The latest minimally invasive methods use video assistance to provide access through smaller incisions. Unlike open chest surgery, minimally invasive techniques do not require cutting the ribs or breastbone. There are two options available for minimally invasive chest surgery:

  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS). VATS is a minimally invasive surgical approach using micro-instruments and small incisions 2–3 cm in length. A tiny video camera is inserted through one of the incisions to enable the thoracic surgeon to view the chest cavity on high-resolution monitors.
  • Robotic thoracic surgery. This surgical procedure is similar to VATS, but it involves a robotic system controlled by the thoracic surgeon from a console. The robot-assisted chest operation is performed through small incisions using robotic instruments that allow a wide range of movements.

The main advantages of minimally invasive thoracic operations are reduced tissue damage, fewer complications, shorter hospital stay, decreased chest pain after surgery, smaller scars, faster recovery post-surgery, and high patient satisfaction rates.

Who is a candidate for minimally invasive thoracic surgery?

Nearly all traditional thoracic surgeries can be performed using minimally invasive techniques. In Acıbadem’s Thoracic Surgery Department, this is the first option considered for every patient who needs chest surgery. However, minimally invasive surgery is not the best solution for everyone. Some patients might still require open surgery, depending on the pathology and its location. The most appropriate treatment for each patient is determined after detailed evaluation by a multidisciplinary council, with experienced physicians in medical oncology, radiation oncology, pulmonology, thoracic surgery, radiology, pathology, and nuclear medicine.

How long will I stay in the hospital?

The recovery time after chest surgery depends on the specific case, the surgical procedure, and the skills of the thoracic surgeon performing the operation. Generally, recovery time is shorter after minimally invasive procedures than open surgery. In Acıbadem’s Thoracic Surgery Department, the average hospital stay is 1–4 days. Usually, lung cancer surgery requires a one-night stay in the intensive care unit. For other surgeries, this may not be necessary.

What happens after the procedure?

Surgery affects patients differently. Therefore, the post-operative recovery period varies according to the patient’s health history, general health condition, and the surgeon’s experience. Usually, patients can return to their normal life 1–5 days after discharge from minimally-invasive procedures, and require a few weeks to recover from open surgery. Upon discharge, our medical team provides specific instructions for each patient regarding wound care, physical activities, diet, and follow-up examinations.

Types of chest surgery performed at Acıbadem

Acıbadem’s Thoracic Surgery Department provides the full range of services for the diagnosis and treatment of complex chest diseases, including advanced surgical methods only used in a few advanced medical centers worldwide. The conditions we treat include but are not limited to:

  • Lung cancer: Acıbadem is known for our outstanding achievements in lung cancer surgery. Our team was the first in Turkey to implement the single-port video-assisted thoracoscopy for early-stage lung cancer.
  • Esophageal cancer. An esophagectomy or surgical removal of part of the esophagus may be required. In some cases, the surgery may be performed using minimally invasive techniques.
  • Mediastinal cysts and tumors. Surgical resection may be done with minimally invasive methods.
  • Emphysema. Emphysema surgery can help patients breathe better and live longer when medication is not sufficient.
  • Pleural diseases. Operations for the management of pleural mesothelioma and pleural space problems, including thoracocentesis, tube thoracostomy, shunting for pleural effusion, managing pneumothorax, pleurectomy, decortication and drainage, and resection of empyema.
  • Chest wall deformities. Operations involving the repair of pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum, and other chest wall deformities or traumatic chest wall instability.
  • Congenital chest disorders in children. We usually use closed, minimally invasive techniques with tiny incisions for pediatric patients.
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome. TOS surgery is used to relieve compression and symptoms.
  • Hyperhidrosis. Thoracic sympathectomy is a nerve surgery that may help with excessive sweating.

Why choose Acıbadem for thoracic surgery?

In thoracic surgery, advanced equipment and extensive expertise are necessary for successful outcomes. Acıbadem employs world-class thoracic surgeons with broad international experience, including the president of the world’s largest thoracic surgery association, the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Our team was the first in Turkey and among the first globally to implement the single-port VATS method, which is the least invasive lung cancer surgery to date. Our state-of-the-art equipment and multidisciplinary approach contribute to improving the lives of our patients in the best way possible.

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