Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Can biopsies be performed during a thoracoscopy?"
If the doctor finds something inside me can he take it out or will this require a different procedure? I don't want to do this twice.
A thoracoscopy is a surgical procedure used to view structures within the thorax, without having to break or open the rib cage. It was developed so that surgeons could have access to tissue, and perform simple procedures in a non-invasive manner. Often thoracoscopies are used as a method of obtaining a biopsy of a specific tissue or tumor that the doctor is concerned about. Sometimes they are used to take a biopsy of the lung tissue that may aide in the diagnosis of a lung condition. Sometimes, the doctor will find something inside your chest that he or she will want to remove. Sometimes the removal is possible and sometimes it isn't. Thus, I don't think you can be guaranteed that this will be your only procedure. Your doctor obviously hopes this is your only procedure or else they would have just scheduled you for an open surgery. Thoracoscopies are generally performed by surgeons that have specialized in thoracic surgery (not pulmonologists). I suggest that you schedule an appointment with the surgeon you have chosen for this procedure. The two of you can discuss the goals of the procedure and what reasonable benefits can be expected so that you can compare them to the risks. Good luck.
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