Thoracoscopy is a procedure that allows internal examination, biopsy and surgical removal of the disease of the affected parts within the lungs, the area between the lungs (mediastinum) and the lining of the chest cavity and the membrane covering the lungs (pleura). The thoracoscopy procedure involves insertion of thin, flexible tube in the chest through small incisions. This tube is equipped with a small fibre optic camera that allows the doctors to carry out the visual examination for the indications of pleural mesothelioma or other diseases.
At times, the visual indications of the disease do not confirm the diagnosis of the disease. To confirm the diagnosis, doctors can also carry out a biopsy during the procedure and perform the surgery for the resection of the affected masses if required. There two kinds of thoracoscopy procedures commonly performed:
Surgical Thoracoscopy: This procedure requires the patient to be under general anaesthesia and is recommended when the thoracoscopic surgery has a dual purpose of diagnosis and treatment.
Medical Thoracoscopy: This procedure is far less invasive as compared to the surgical thoracoscopy, with only small incisions required to carry out the process. The only purpose of this procedure is to conduct the biopsy of the lungs, chest cavity or pleural cavity.