History and development of minimally invasive surgery: VATS surgery

Luca Bertolaccini, Gaetano Rocco


History is not only the chronological record of remarkable events, but it is also a branch of knowledge that explains past events. Here, we would try to summarize in few rows the history of the video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) revolution. Since the first effort of thoracoscopy one century ago, surgical technology has developed considerably and so have thoracic surgeons. At present, basic and advanced thoracic surgical procedures can be performed by VATS, with minor wounds, a lesser amount of pain, quicker hospital stay, and with excellent outcomes compared with thoracotomy. Therefore, the training of the assistants, the participation of the multi-disciplinary team, the establishment of proper complementary technology becomes of the leading importance to push the boundaries of surgery.