Dr. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas: uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery has become increasingly important
Meet the Professor

Dr. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas: uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery has become increasingly important

Received: 20 June 2016; Accepted: 20 June 2016; Published: 01 July 2016.

doi: 10.21037/jovs.2016.06.11

The 1st International Course on Tubeless and Advanced VATS Lobectomy Techniques was held successfully in the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University from December 7–11, 2015. The course was chaired by Dr. Jianxing He from First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, China and Dr. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas (Figure 1) from Coruña University Hospital, Spain. One hundred international experts from 16 different countries were invited to train the tubeless VATS lobectomy techniques. At the first day the course, I was honored to have an interview with Dr. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas after his speech on “Non-intubated VATS lobectomy surgery: CORUÑA experience”.

Figure 1 Dr. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas.

In the interview, Dr. Gonzalez-Rivas briefly introduced the advances of VATS lobectomy over the past 8 years. He performed the first uniportal VATS lobectomy in June 2010 and performed the first non-intubated uniportal VATS lobectomy in the world in April 2014. Uniportal VATS for major resections has become a revolution in the treatment of lung pathologies since 2010, because the outcome of uniportal approach is good and it pushes the boundaries on the minimal thoracic invasive surgery.

When talked about the future development of uniportal VATS lobectomies, Dr. Gonzalez-Rivas expected that further development of new technologies like sealing devices for all vessels and fissure, robotic arms that open inside the thorax, and wireless cameras, which will probably allow the uniportal approach to become the standard surgical procedure for major pulmonary resections in most thoracic departments.

For more detail of this interview, readers can refer to the following video (Figure 2).

Figure 2 Dr. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas: uniportal VATS has become increasingly important (1). Available online: http://www.asvide.com/articles/1014


Dr. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas is a graduate of Santiago de Compostela University and the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Coruña University (MD). He received training in General Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, and lung transplantation at Coruña University Hospital. After completing a year working in Santiago University Hospital joined the faculty at Coruña Hospital and is currently Thoracic Surgeon in Coruña University center an active member of lung transplantation program (40−45 cases per year). He is the creator of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Unit (UCTMI) working at Quiron Hospital, San Rafael and Modelo medical center. Actually he works in these four medical hospitals at Coruña city and in Shanghai Pulmonary hospital, Shanghai, China. He is the director of the uniportal VATS training program at Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital (biggest thoracic center in the world).

Dr. Gonzalez-Rivas serves on several editorial boards and is reviewer of many scientific journals. He is the Associate Editor of Journal of Visualized Surgery (JOVS), initiating the featured column “Teaching Uniportal VATS worldwide”. He is also the Editor of the book Uniportal Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery and Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery and Associate Editor of Tubeless Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery.

He is the organizer of the annual meeting of Spanish Society Of Thoracic Surgery (SECT) from 2014–2017. He also collaborates with Educational Activities of European Society of thoracic surgeons (ESTS), International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS) and European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS). He was recently elected member of the American Association of Thoracic Surgery (AATS) He is a board European certificated surgeon since 2010 (FECTS). He started to perform VATS lobectomies in 2007 after learning the technique at Cedars Sinai. After 100 major resections performed he visited Duke medical center to learn the double port technique with Dr. Thomas D’Amico. Once experience was gained with this technique he evolved to single-port approach.

He was pioneer surgeon in the world performing uniportal VATS lobectomies (first case in June 2010) and non-intubated uniportal major pulmonary resections (first case in April 2014). He has published several papers describing these procedures and the results in the most important medical journals and textbooks of thoracic surgery.


The author would like to extend her gratitude to Dr. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas for sharing his perspectives with us.


Conflicts of Interest: The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.


  1. Gao LM. Dr. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas: uniportal VATS has become increasingly important. Asvide 2016;3:254. Available online: http://www.asvide.com/articles/1014

(Science Editor: Lucine M. Gao, JOVS, jovs@amegroups.com)

doi: 10.21037/jovs.2016.06.11
Cite this article as: Gao LM. Dr. Diego Gonzalez-Rivas: uniportal video-assisted thoracic surgery has become increasingly important. J Vis Surg 2016;2:113.