What is Thoracoscopy?
Thoracoscopy is a procedure a doctor uses to look inside the chest cavity. This is done with a thoracoscope, a thin, flexible tube with a light and a small video camera on the end. The tube is put in through a small cut made near the lower end of the shoulder blade between the ribs. Thoracoscopy is sometimes called VATS which is short for video assisted thoracic surgery.
When do you need a Thoracoscopy?
There are a few reasons you might need to have thoracoscopy:
This test is used to look for the causes of problems in the lungs (such as trouble breathing or coughing up blood).
Thoracoscopy can be done to remove excess fluid that is around the lung and causing trouble breathing. This fluid can also be sent to the lab and checked for cancer or infection. If fluid around the lungs is removed, but builds up again, medicine can be put into the chest cavity with a thoracoscope to keep the fluid from coming back (pleurodesis).