The technology is called 3-D video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). A small video camera is introduced into the patient’s chest with a scope. Then surgical instruments are inserted through other small incisions. The surgeon wears 3-D goggles, which restore the depth perception that is lost with conventional two-dimensional video-assisted systems.
Marcelo DaSilva, MD, FACS, used the system while performing surgery on lung cancer patient Don Parks, a retired police officer who lives in LaSalle, Ill. DaSilva removed the lower lobe of Parks’ right lung. It was Parks’ second bout of cancer. In 2006, Parks was successfully treated at Loyola for laryngeal cancer.
The minimally invasive technique results in less pain, faster recovery and smaller scars than open surgery. Most patients go home in one or two days and fully recover in two weeks. The patient is left with three small scars, each less than an inch across.
Parks said the post-surgical pain lasted only a couple days and was well controlled by pain meds. “It wasn’t bad at all,” he said. He also appreciates the small incisions and how quickly he is healing.
In conventional video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, a tiny camera called a thoracoscope, transmits images of the surgery to a 2-D video monitor that the surgeon views while performing the surgery. With the 3-D technology, the surgeon instead views the surgery through 3-D goggles.
The 3-D system produces a high-resolution image and stereoscopic depth perception. It provides a precise spatial view of anatomy and improves the surgeon’s hand-eye coordination. It is especially beneficial in performing more complex tasks.
“For the first time in laparoscopic surgery, this system enables the surgeon to experience a natural, 3-D view inside the human body,” DaSilva said.
The 3-D VATS system can be used for thoracic procedures such as lung cancer surgery, biopsies and removal of mediastinum tumors, DaSilva said.
DaSilva recently joined Loyola as director of Thoracic Surgery. In addition to performing minimally invasive lung cancer surgery, DaSilva is one of the world’s top specialists in performing complex surgeries for rare mesothelioma cancers.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola’s Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.