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What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery? Common Minimally Invasive Surgeries Explained

What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery

In the last 30 years, much has changed in surgical practices, with the most significant advancements in minimally invasive techniques. For example, in the 1990s, removing a swollen appendix required a 2 to 4-inch incision and a hospital stay of several days. But now, with minimally invasive surgery, an appendix can be removed through a few small abdominal incisions, usually less than a half-inch in length, and most patients can return home the same day.

What does Minimally Invasive Surgery exactly mean?

When compared to traditional open surgery, minimally invasive surgery involves making small or tiny incisions and using specialized instruments to perform procedures with less damage to the body’s tissues, resulting in a faster recovery time period, lesser pain, and a lower risk of complications.

In traditional open surgery, your surgeon makes a single large cut to access the area of your body being operated on. Our surgeon uses small tools, cameras, and lights that will fit through several tiny cuts in your skin during minimally invasive surgery. This enables the surgeon to perform surgery without having to cut through a lot of skin and muscle.

Some minimally invasive surgeries are performed using robotic technology, which allows for more precise control over the procedure. Other minimally invasive surgeries are performed without the use of a robot.

Dr Taj Chowdhry’s Speciality – Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery. (Uniportal-Single incision Video assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery)

What does Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery mean?

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery is lung and chest surgery performed through small incisions. A thoracoscope or a surgical robotic system may be used to carry out these procedures.

Our consultant thoracic surgeon, Dr Taj Chowdhry, is renowned for his expertise and precision in performing minimally invasive surgeries, revolutionizing the landscape of thoracic surgical interventions. With a commitment to patient-centred care, he employs cutting-edge techniques such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) to address a spectrum of thoracic conditions with precision and minimal invasiveness.

These procedures, ranging from lung and esophageal surgeries to mediastinal and pleural interventions, offer patients the advantage of smaller incisions, reduced postoperative pain, and faster recovery times. Dr Taj’s approach combines advanced surgical skills with a patient-focused philosophy, ensuring personalized care that aligns with each individual’s unique medical needs and circumstances. His dedication to staying at the forefront of medical advancements underscores his commitment to delivering optimal outcomes and improving the quality of life for those undergoing thoracic surgeries.

Types of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgeries

Wedge Resection

Wedge resection entails the removal of a small, wedge-shaped portion of the lung containing the targeted abnormality, such as a tumor or cyst.

Indications: It is often used for peripheral lesions or localized abnormalities that do not require the removal of an entire lobe.

Anatomical Segmental Resection

Anatomical segmental resection involves the removal of a specific anatomical segment of the lung, each of which has its own blood supply and airway.

Indications: This procedure is employed when the affected area is confined to a particular lung segment, preserving healthy lung tissue.


Lobectomy entails the removal of an entire lobe of the lung, which is the largest division of the lung and is self-contained with its own bronchi and blood vessels.

Indications: Commonly performed for treating lung cancer or extensive disease confined to a single lobe.


Pneumonectomy is a procedure where the entire lung is removed.

Indications: Typically reserved for cases where diseases, such as advanced lung cancer or severe infections, affect the entire lung and cannot be effectively treated with more conservative procedures.


Pleurectomy is the removal of the pleura which is the membrane around the lungs and is also lining the chest cavity.

Indications: It is often performed to treat conditions like pleural mesothelioma or recurrent pleural effusions. This procedure aims to prevent the accumulation of fluid or tumor growth within the pleural space.

Drainage of Pleural Effusions (Thoracocentesis)

Thoracocentesis involves the insertion of a needle or a catheter into the pleural space (the area between the lungs and the chest wall) to drain out accumulated fluid.

Indications: It is utilized to address pleural effusions, where fluid buildup can occur due to various conditions such as infection, cancer, heart failure, cirrhosis, or kidney disease.

Diagnostic Value: The collected fluid is analyzed to identify the underlying cause, guiding further treatment decisions.

Preventive Measures: In some cases, during the procedure, sterile talc or an antibiotic may be introduced to prevent the recurrence of fluid accumulation.

Other Diagnostic Procedures

These interventions extend beyond pleural effusion drainage and involve examining different areas of the thoracic cavity.

Mediastinal Examination: Procedures may include examinations of the mediastinum, the region between the lungs, providing insights into conditions affecting structures like lymph nodes, blood vessels, and the esophagus.

Pericardial Exploration: Examination of the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart, can be performed to assess conditions related to the heart, such as inflammation or tumors.

Thymus Evaluation: The thymus, located near the base of the throat, can be examined to address concerns related to thymic tumors or abnormalities.

Tissue Sampling and Cancer Removal: These procedures may involve obtaining tissue samples for analysis and, in some cases, surgically removing cancerous growths found in the examined areas.

Procedure for Minimally Invasive Surgery

How does Video-assisted Surgery (VATS) work?

Our surgeon and a highly trained team of surgical staff and anesthesiologists perform Thoracotomy surgery.

Three or four small incisions (1-2 cm) are made in the chest cavity while under general anesthesia, and a tiny camera called a thoracoscope is inserted between the ribs and into the chest. This device sends a live video feed from within the chest to monitors in the operating room, which our surgeons can view throughout the procedure.

To complete the procedure, additional instruments are inserted through the other incisions.

How does Robotic Surgery work?

This procedure, like VATS, allows the surgeon to view the surgical site through a camera that is inserted into the chest.  The surgeon works at a console, where controls translate the surgeon’s hand, wrist, and finger movements into movements of the instruments inserted in the chest.

The incisions are kept as small as possible, and the ribs are never broken or spread. When the procedure is finished, the instruments and camera are removed, and the incisions are sutured closed.


The length of your hospital stay will be determined by the procedure performed. Patients who have thoracoscopic lung biopsies or wedge resections can usually go home the same day. VATS lobectomy patients are usually able to go home 3 to 4 days after surgery.

Advantages of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive thoracic surgery, as opposed to traditional open thoracic surgery, results in:

  • Smaller incisions and a more pleasing cosmetic outcome
  • Less bleeding and infection risk
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery and return to work

Choose Dr Taj Chowdhry for Minimally Invasive Surgery for all your thoracic disorders

Dr Taj Chowdhry is a highly skilled and experienced surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive surgery for thoracic disorders. His expertise and dedication to providing the best possible care for his patients make him one of the top choices for those seeking treatment for their condition. With his advanced techniques and compassionate approach, he aims to improve the health and quality of life of all his patients.

If you are facing any thoracic disorder, consider choosing Dr Taj as your surgeon for a safe and effective minimally invasive procedure.