Traditional general thoracic surgery for treating lung, mediastinal, and esophageal malignancy and diseases often required large access incisions, such as a thoracotomy, sternotomy, and laparotomy. With the introduction of minimally invasive techniques in the 1990s and early 2000s, there began to be improvements in length of stay, morbidity, and mortality in patients. By adopting these techniques for smaller procedures, such as wedge resection and pleural biopsy, the penetrance of minimally invasive techniques for anatomic resections, such as lobectomy, has been much more restrained.1 A review of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons database indicates that video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomies have plateaued at about 50% of lobectomies performed.
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Marshall MB, Wee JO. Robotic Platform Use in General Thoracic Surgery. JAMA Surg. Published online September 18, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.3361
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