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Minimally Invasive Techniques

At NorthShore, diagnosing and treating a variety of thoracic conditions can be done through advanced minimally invasive techniques that offer less pain, quicker recovery and minimal scarring than traditional surgery. Some of the innovative technologies utilized by our team of surgical specialists include:

  • Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS)

    At NorthShore, our thoracic surgery specialists are renowned for their expertise in performing VATS. We employ VATS for the majority of our lung and esophageal cancer patients as well as for individuals with benign conditions.

    VATS involves the use of a tiny camera (thoracoscope) to gain an up close view of the contents of the chest cavity. Pencil-thin endoscopic tools allow for the removal of diseased organ and tissue for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. These surgical instruments are inserted into the chest area via small incisions made between the ribs. Unlike open surgery (thoracotomy), VATS is done without the need for large incisions or painful rib spreading. 

  • Robotic Surgery

    Robotic surgery combines the skills of your surgeon with the precision of an advanced robotic system to achieve the best that modern surgery has to offer. At NorthShore, we use the da Vinci® Si HD Surgical System to perform thoracic surgeries deep within the chest cavity with minimal pain and scarring. The system’s robotic arms offer more range of motion than the human hand, ensuring a high degree of accuracy with every movement.

    Robotic procedures for thoracic conditions typically involve making tiny incisions on one side of your chest for the insertion of pencil-thin surgical instruments and a small video camera. The surgical team then attaches the da Vinci® robotic manipulating arms to the instruments. Sitting at an adjacent console, your surgeon controls the precise movements of the robotic arms, while looking at the operative field with an immersive 3D view provided by the video camera. The robotic system allows for optimal surgical resection and suturing using sophisticated miniaturized instruments—no matter how tight the space.