Thoracic (Chest) Surgery - Thoracotomy Procedures - Acıbadem

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Chest (Thoracic) Surgery

Chest (Thoracic) Surgery

Chest (Thoracic) surgery at Acibadem Turkiye

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

What is thoracic surgery?

Thoracic surgery, also known as chest surgery, refers to 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 indication 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 surgery procedures can be performed with open surgery or minimally invasive techniques.

Thoracotomy procedures

Thoracotomy is a major surgery that involves opening the chest. It allows reaching organs within the thorax through the ribs or the breast bone. A thoracic surgeon may decide to use 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 (removing one of the lung lobes), Pneumonectomy (removal of the entire lung). Esophagectomy or removal of a large part of the esophagus is another common thoracic procedure. Tumors of the thymus called thymomas may require removal of the thymus (thymectomy). In some cases, a thymectomy may be used as part of the treatment for myasthenia gravis.

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

Minimally-invasive thoracic surgery

Recent medical developments make thoracic surgery less invasive and more comfortable for patients. The latest minimally-invasive methods use video assistance and provide access through smaller incisions. Unlike open chest surgery, minimally-invasive techniques do not require cutting of 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 of 2 to 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 minimal 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. At Acibadem 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?         

How long does it take to recover from chest surgery depends on the specific case, the applied surgical procedure, and the skills of the thoracic surgeon performing the operation. Generally, the recovery time is shorter after minimally-invasive procedures compared to open surgery. At Acibadem Thoracic Surgery Department, the average hospital stay varies between 1 and 4 days. Usually, lung cancer surgery requires 1 night stay in the intensive care unit for lung cancer surgeries. In other surgeries, this is not always necessary.

What happens after the procedure?

Surgery affects patients differently. Therefore, the post-operative recovery period may vary according to the patient’s health history, general health condition, and the surgeon’s experience. Usually, the patients can return to their normal life 1-5 days after discharge with minimally-invasive procedures, while open surgery requires a few weeks to recover. 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 Acibadem

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

  • Lung cancer: Acibadem is known for its outstanding achievements in lung cancer surgery. Our team was the first in Turkiye to implement the single-port video-assisted thoracoscopy for early-stage lung cancer.
  • Esophageal cancer. Esophagectomy or surgical removal of part of the esophagus may be required. In some cases, the surgery may be performed by minimally-invasive techniques.
  • Mediastinal cysts and tumors. Surgical resection is possible with minimally-invasive methods.
  • Emphysema. Emphysema surgery can help some patients breathe better and live longer when medications are not sufficient.
  • Pleural diseases. Operations for management of pleural mesothelioma, 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 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 the compression and symptoms.
  • Hyperhidrosis. Thoracic sympathectomy is a nerve surgery that may help against excessive sweating.

Why choose Acibadem for thoracic surgery?

In thoracic surgery, advanced equipment and extensive expertise are a must for successful outcomes. Acibadem employs world-class thoracic surgeons with broad international experience, including presidency of the world’s largest thoracic surgery association, the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EBCTS). Our team was among the first globally and the first in Turkiye to implement the single-port VATS method, which is the least invasive lung cancer surgery up to date. 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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