Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Robotic surgery is the latest minimally invasive approach to thoracic surgery. Like video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS), the robot allows operations to be performed through several small incisions, instead of a thoracotomy incision that requires rib spreading. Both VATS and robotic approaches therefore reduce postoperative pain and the rate of some complications. Robotic surgery does, however, require experience to perform operations safely and effectively. All of the Stanford thoracic surgeons have substantial experience with the robot.

The surgical robot has four arms—one holds a camera and the others hold long surgical instruments that can be manipulated to perform the surgery inside the patient.

"Robot" is actually a misnomer, because the machine does not make any decisions or move the instruments on its own. It is completely controlled by the surgeon, who sits adjacent to the operating table at the console.

An assistant at the bedside helps exchange instruments and remove specimens.

The Division of Thoracic Surgery in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Stanford School of Medicine is located in the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California. For more information about our services, please contact Donna Yoshida at (650) 721-2086 or Angela Lee, RN, MS, at (650) 721-5402. For new patient Thoracic Surgery Clinic Scheduling, please call (650) 498-6000.