A thoracoscopy uses an endoscope to visually examine the pleura, lungs, and mediastinum and to remove tissue for testing. An endoscope (an illuminated optic instrument) is inserted through an incision while the patient is under anesthesia. Several small incisions are made in your side and the surgeon then inserts a thin, tubelike instrument containing a tiny camera through one of the incisions. This camera allows the surgeon to view your lungs on a video monitor.
Surgical instruments are inserted through the other incisions. One or more tubes may be temporarily placed in the chest to allow air fluid to drain. The incisions are then closed with sutures or staples. The procedure is a minimally invasive surgery allowing the surgeon to obtain a tissue sample for diagnosis so the appropriate treatment can be planned with the patient’s care team.