Giving Lung Cancer Surgeons a 3-D View

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is performed using surgical tools on long, thin ‘stalks’ that are inserted through small incisions (less than 1 inch). A small video camera on a flexible tube is introduced through another small hole to guide the surgeon’s work. MIS offers less pain and faster recovery than traditional surgery. However, previously, the camera had only been able to transmit two-dimensional images to the surgeon, who had to perform the surgery without proper depth perception. Now, three-dimensional (3-D) video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) adds a new dimension. Surgeons wear 3-D goggles during the surgery, giving them a clearer picture of the region on which they are operating. VATS can be used for various chest surgeries, including lung cancer surgeries.