All the time. Most thoracic procedures are currently being done with vats.
Yes. In our practice, over 70% of stage i and ii lung cancers are removed by vats or video-assisted thoracic surgery. This is performed through 3-4 thumb sized incisions and a high definition camera.http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/surgery/specialties/cardio/thoracicsurgery.html.
Yes. Yes, i have. Techniques used in thoracic surgery will depend upon indication for surgery and/or diagnosis. There are numerous techniques to include sternotomy, traditional thoracotomy, mini-thoracotomy, video assisted thoracotomy, vats, and robotic approaches. 80+% of what we do will be minimally invasive (vats or robotic).