Uniportal non-intubated thoracic surgery
Uniportal video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) is the most advanced evolution of the minimally invasive technique, which allows often the possibility to include patients in enhanced recovery programs in order to optimize the therapeutic pathway, shorten the length of stay and reduce hospital costs. Non-intubated VATS procedures allow the performance of surgeries with minimal sedation without general anesthesia, maintaining throughout the operation spontaneous breathing. The principle is to create an iatrogenic spontaneous pneumothorax, which can provide a good lung isolation without the need of a double lumen tube. A survey between the members of the European Society of Thoracic Surgery (ESTS) showed that non-intubated VATS procedures are already performed by a large number of ESTS members for minor procedures. With the publication of new data and the spreading of uniportal VATS in many centers worldwide in the last decades, the application of the non-intubated technique in major procedure like anatomic resections is expected to grow. This technique can potentially be beneficial for high-risk patients but also could be used for the routine procedures as well, but more data are needed to establish the real benefit for these groups of patients.