What is the role of video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) in the treatment of pericardial effusion?

Updated: Nov 28, 2018
  • Author: William J Strimel, DO, FACP; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) allows resection of a wider area of the pericardium than the subxiphoid approach does, without the morbidity of thoracotomy. [38] The surgeon is able to create a pleuropericardial window and address concomitant pleural pathology, which is especially common in patients with malignant effusions.

One disadvantage of VATS is that it requires general anesthesia with single lung ventilation, which may be difficult in otherwise seriously ill patients.


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