Robot-Assisted Thoracic Surgery

Thoracic surgery refers to surgery performed on organs and tissues in the chest cavity, such as the lungs, esophagus or mediastinum (middle of the chest). When medication or other treatments are not effective, surgery is often recommended to treat a range of conditions such as lung cancer and diseases of the esophagus.

Traditional open surgery to access the chest cavity requires surgeons to make a long incision through the chest wall, known as thoracotomy. In some cases, the surgeon has to cut open the breastbone at the front of the ribcage (known as a sternotomy).

Less invasive options using smaller incisions are available for many patients. Thoracoscopy, for example, is video-assisted surgery that uses a miniature camera to help doctors perform the procedure without splitting the breastbone. This approach does have limitations, however, and is often not appropriate for complex procedures.

A New Category in Minimally Invasive Surgery

If your doctor recommends surgery for a thoracic (chest) condition affecting your lungs or esophagus, you may be a candidate for robot-assisted surgery with the da Vinci® Si HD Surgical System. It's a new category of minimally invasive surgery offered at Scott & White.

Because doctors perform da Vinci Surgery through a few tiny incisions between the ribs, they avoid splitting your breastbone and ribcage. The da Vinci Surgical System provides surgeons and their patients with a minimally invasive treatment option — even for the most complex cases.

Proven Technology That's Safe and Effective

With the da Vinci® Si HD Surgical System, Scott & White offers you a safe, FDA-approved alternative to traditional open and laparoscopic surgeries for many thoracic problems, including:

Patient Benefits Compared to Traditional Open Surgery
• Less pain and blood loss
• Less scarring, due to tiny incisions
• Shorter recovery time and hospital stay
• Quicker return to your daily activities
• Lower rate of surgical complications

Find out more

  • Some kinds of lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Esophageal diverticula (pouches)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Achalasia (swallowing disorder)
  • Mediastinal cysts and tumors (in the middle of the chest area)
  • Myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune disorder)

The da Vinci surgical system* is proven robotic technology developed by Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Previous generations of the system are being used by many hospitals. Scott & White began using the da Vinci system in 2005 and recently upgraded to this newest robotic technology.

In fact, Scott & White Hospital – Temple is the only hospital in Central Texas with the new da Vinci Si HD. It enables our surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations through a few tiny incisions with increased vision, precision, dexterity and control. Plus, only the da Vinci Si HD uses an exclusive fluorescence imaging method that makes it easier for surgeons to safely identify blood flow and key anatomical landmarks in the surgical area.

If your doctor recommends surgery for a thoracic condition, ask if you’re a candidate for robot-assisted surgery.

*Also referred to as the da Vinci robot

While clinical studies support the effectiveness of the da Vinci® System when used in minimally invasive surgery, individual results may vary. Surgery with the da Vinci Surgical System may not be appropriate for every individual. Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits.

For additional information on minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System visit

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