Why comprehensive adoption of robotic assisted thoracic surgery is ideal for both simple and complex lung resections

Michael Mazzei, Abbas E. Abbas


Minimally invasive thoracoscopic surgical techniques have grown increasingly popular due to improved outcome measures compared to conventional rib-spreading thoracotomy. However, video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) presents with unique technical challenges that have limited its role in certain cases. Here, we discuss our perspectives on the implementation of a successful robotic thoracic program. We will then present the case for how the adoption of robotic assisted thoracic surgery (RATS) provides the benefits of minimally invasive VATS while still retaining the technical finesse of bimanual articulating instruments and 3-dimensional imaging that is a universal component of any open surgery. We will also discuss how to overcome some of the perceived disadvantages to RATS in regard to the higher cost, lack of tactile feedback and potential safety concerns.