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Diagnosis of lung disorders usually starts with a medical history, physical examination and chest x-rays. These procedures help doctors evaluate the patient's condition and their problem. However, further testing may be required to find the underlying cause. Hence, they may order additional tests like Medical Thoracoscopy to diagnose the exact cause of a lung disorder.

Medical thoracoscopy, also known as pleuroscopy, is a minimal surgical procedure that involves the insertion of a working instrument in combination with a viewing device into the pleural space. It enables physicians to carry out basic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures safely. It can be performed as a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure. In some cases, doctors can also perform this procedure for pleural fluid drainage, biopsy, or pleurodesis. 

What does it entail?
Like any other surgical procedure, this invasive process entails sterile equipment for biopsy, visualization, exposure and manipulation. It also requires a high-resolution video imaging system, which contains the pleural-scope, to facilitate proper viewing of the surgical site and participation by all members of the team in removal and manipulation.

Why is Medical Thoracoscopy done?
Performed to view the chest cavity and lungs, it is either done for the diagnosis purposes or as a therapeutic procedure. The primary requirement for Thoracoscopy is pleural or lung biopsy. For the restorative procedure, it is done with the help of video technology called Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) done by thoracic surgeons.

Some common indications of medical Thoracoscopy include:

  • Diagnosis of pleural effusions
  • Lung cancer staging
  • Pleurodesis
  • Biopsy of parietal pleura
  • Staging of mesothelioma

Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS)
VATS is done by a thoracic surgeon using general anaesthesia with additional sedation if necessary. It is a surgical operation that involves Thoracoscopy. VATS is interchangeably termed as Pleuroscopy. This process has been increasingly popular since the early 1990s. 

Before VATS, a minimal diagnostic procedure was available. However, the advanced indirect optical visualization was quickly surpassed when video cameras were attached to thoracoscopic. This procedure is beneficial for the diagnosis of undefined interstitial lung diseases.

What is the procedure of Medical Thoracoscopy?
The procedure of medical Thoracoscopy is done by providing the patient local anaesthesia to numb the area. Afterwards, a thick needle and a cannula are inserted into the pleural space. After observing the concerned area in the images obtained from the mini-probe, the physician performs transbronchial needle aspiration (TBNA) which employs a small needle to withdraw a sample for biopsy. 

Various tests are performed using the collected samples for detecting infections, staging (to determine the extent of spread of cancer to adjacent areas), and diagnosing inflammatory diseases affecting the lungs. The needle is removed, and a thoracoscope is passed through the cannula to ensure that no tissue residue covers the camera.

Why Eternal Hospital?
At Eternal Hospital, we have a highly qualified and dedicated team of urologists who are always committed to providing the latest and most advanced medical care to all our patients. Being a trusted name in healthcare, we act compassionately while ensuring confidentiality to those who need it. We have set high standards in patient-centric premium care and outstanding patient safety, and exceptional maintenance in a timely manner. In addition, we adhere to the use of up-to-the-minute innovations to offer state-of-the-art treatments to our patients with unparalleled results.

Meet Our Team

Dr. K. K. Sharma

Director & HoD - Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine