Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Published On 07/11/2011

Robotic surgical technologies have already started to change the way surgeons operate inside the chest – in particular for procedures performed on the lungs and esophagus.

The “Dylewski'” technique, performed only by surgeons at Methodist University Hospital’s Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, involves using the da Vinci® robot to perform a safer, more precise lung lobectomy. 

While a traditional open thoracotomy operation requires surgeons to make a larger chest incision and spread or cut of the breastbone or ribs, the “Dylewski” technique uses only four incisions to remove the effected lobe below the ribs. The one-centimeter incisions on the chest are in the same rib space, thus limiting pain because only one rib space is effected, as opposed to three rib spaces in a video-assisted lobectomy or open thoracotomy procedure. 

The “Dyleweski” technique allows for portions of the rib go virtually untouched by the robot and surgery length is shorter; two advantages not possible with an open thoracotomy.

The da Vinci® Surgical System provides surgeons with an alternative to both traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy, putting a surgeon’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic platform. Equipped with high definition, three-dimensional imaging capabilities, the da Vinci® Surgical System enables surgeons to perform thymectomies and other potentially traumatic procedures through 1-2 cm incisions, without spreading or cutting the breastbone or ribs, thereby minimizing blood loss, pain and scarring.

By dramatically enhancing visualization, precision, control and dexterity, the da Vinci® Surgical System overcomes the limitations of traditional thoracoscopic technology, helping physicians to perform complex surgery in a manner never before experienced. With enhanced surgical capabilities, physicians are now able to extend the benefits of minimally invasive surgery to the broadest possible range of patients.

Benefits of Robotic Thoracic Surgery

Complex procedures like thoracic surgery require an excellent view of the operative field and the ability to maneuver instruments within the chest cavity. Thoracic surgery performed robotically provides better control, dexterity and visualization than with an open procedure, allowing surgeons to offer patients the benefits of minimally invasive surgery, including:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Less pain and scarring
  • Less risk of infection
  • Less blood loss and fewer transfusions
  • Faster recovery
  • Quicker return to normal activities

To find a thoracic surgeon in Memphis, Tennessee, please use our physician locator or call 888.777.5959.