The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
Diagnostic Tests - Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery
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How do I prepare for the test?

  • Discuss the specific procedures planned during your chest surgery ahead of time with your doctor. VATS is done by either a surgeon or a trained pulmonary specialist. You will need to sign a consent form giving the surgeon permission to perform this test. Talk to your doctor about whether you will stay in the hospital for any time after the procedure, so that you can plan for this.

    You may need to have tests called pulmonary function tests (see page 33) before this surgery, to make sure that you can recover well.

    If you are taking insulin, discuss this with your doctor before the test. If you take aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or other medicines that affect blood clotting, talk with your doctor. It may be necessary to stop or adjust the dose of these medicines before your test.

    You will be told not to eat anything for at least eight hours before the surgery. An empty stomach helps prevent the nausea that can be a side effect of anesthesia medicines.

    Before the surgery (sometimes on the same day), you will meet with an anesthesiologist to go over your medical history (including medicines and allergies) and to discuss the anesthesia.

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