Mayo Clinic's approach


At Mayo Clinic, thoracic surgeons work as a team with pulmonologists and radiologists to evaluate and care for people considering video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Other professionals are included as needed. Your treatment team will care for you in a specialized facility with state-of-the-art monitoring and a pulmonary rehabilitation center.


Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeons were among the first in the United States to perform VATS. It is a complex procedure. Good outcomes are more likely if your surgery is performed by a well-trained chest (thoracic) surgeon with extensive experience in VATS. Each year, Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeons perform more than 900 of these procedures.

Advanced technology

Mayo Clinic surgeons are on the leading edge of treating chest and lung conditions using the latest innovations and surgery techniques.

Individualized care

Mayo Clinic doctors will thoroughly evaluate your condition to determine which treatment options best meet your goals. People best suited to VATS include those who haven't had chest surgery previously and those who have good lung function.

Mayo Clinic offers many other treatment options for people who can't undergo VATS.


Mayo Clinic doctors and scientists study new uses and techniques to improve the quality and safety of surgical procedures, such as video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery.

Expertise and rankings

Heart (cardiac) and chest (thoracic) surgeons at Mayo Clinic diagnose and surgically treat conditions of the heart, lungs and chest. They are skilled in the latest surgical procedures for treating complex heart and chest problems.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

Oct. 21, 2016
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  2. Lewis MI, et al. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. In: Medical Management of the Thoracic Surgery Patient. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. Accessed Aug. 2, 2016.
  3. Miller DL, et al. Videothoracoscopic wedge excision of the lung. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 1992;54:410.
  4. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 26, 2016.
  5. Cameron JL, et al. Video-assisted thoracic surgery. In: Current Surgical Therapy. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Saunders; 2014.
  6. Linx Reflux Management System – P100049. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Accessed Aug. 3, 2016.
  7. Sheu EG, et al. Evaluation of the LINX antireflux procedure. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. 2015;31:334.
  8. Makdisi G, et al. Successful resection of giant mediastinal lipofibroadenoma of the thymus by video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2015;100:698.

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)