What are some terms for collapsed lungs?
Thoracoscopy is an endoscopic examination in which a device - here called a laparoscope - consisting of a camera, light source, irrigation and suction device and possibly small instruments for taking samples is inserted into the body. The camera delivers a live image from the chest cavity on a screen. This is why the examination is also known as VAT (video-assisted thoracoscopy).
In contrast to the Bronchoscopy During thoracoscopy, the device is not inserted through the windpipe but through a small opening in the chest wall into the pleural cavity. The pleural cavity is the space between the lungs (this surrounds the lungs), pleura (the inner lining of the ribs) and the diaphragm (a thin layer of muscle between the abdomen and chest).
The access to the pleural cavity is created minimally invasive with a so-called trocar made of titanium, surgical steel or plastic. This is a pin that sits in a tube with an inner diameter of 0.5 to 12 millimeters and the tip of which closes the tube opening. The tube and trocar are inserted into the chest cavity through a small incision in the skin between two ribs. After pulling the trocar out of the tube, the doctor can examine the pleural cavity with the inserted laparoscope.
Thoracoscopy is performed under anesthesia. In order to be able to see the pleural cavity better, air is often first brought into the space. Doctors call this the creation of a pneumothorax. The lungs collapse, but unfold again as soon as the air is sucked out again through a drainage tube after the examination.
The method also offers the possibility of performing small thoracic surgery such as biopsies. In this context, the surgical technique is abbreviated as VATS (Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery).
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