Lung volume reduction surgery procedure
Lung volume reduction surgery must be performed by a thoracic surgeon with extensive experience performing this procedure in order to assure optimal outcomes. All surgeons on the medical staff within the Department of Thoracic Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center have extensive experience performing this procedure.
LVRS is typically performed in on both lungs at the same time using video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). VATS is a minimally-invasive technique that is performed through two to three small incisions between the ribs and utilizes a high-definition video camera to work inside the chest without making a large incision, dividing the breastbone or spreading the ribs. This results in decreased pain after surgery and a quicker recovery. An epidural catheter is often placed by the anesthesiologist to further decrease post-operative pain.
The camera is inserted through one incision and a specialized stapler is inserted through another incision to remove the disease lung. The procedure is then repeated on the opposite lung. One or two drainage tubes are left in each side of the chest to remove fluid and air which typically accumulate after lung surgery; once drainage of fluid and air has ceased, the tubes are removed and the patient is discharged home, which is typically seven to 10 days after surgery.