Thoracoscopy is the visual examination of the lung surfaces and pleural space through a small camera called a thoracoscope. A thoracoscopy is the most common means to obtain a sample of lung tissue for a biopsy or evaluate for bleb disease. A thoracoscope may also be used in treating accumulations of fluid in the pleural space.
If your child needs thoracic surgery, a minimally invasive approach can be beneficial. However, some procedures are best performed with a more traditional open surgery. The surgeon will evaluate the options and decide what’s best for your child’s condition.
The surgeon makes up to three small incisions in the chest wall and passes a thoraoscope into the pleural space. The insufflation during thoroscopy causes the lung to collapse, allowing the doctor to view its surface and pleura. Tissue samples can be taken and surgery can be done through the thoracoscope. After the throacoscope is removed, a chest tube is inserted which removes air that may have accumulated during the procedure. This allows the collapsed lung to reinflate. The chest tube can be removed in a day or two.