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Small Incisions Have Big Benefits

Small Incisions Have Big Benefits

“I love my surgeon and the care provided at Valley Health... but hate the pain from surgery and having to stay in the hospital!” Such feelings are commonplace, if not universal. Only a short while ago that was the standard state of affairs, and any improvement would be a pipedream. Technology, however, has come to the rescue. Now, you can undergo major thoracic (chest) surgery of all kinds with minimal pain and a very short hospitalization. With the help of a video camera looking inside the chest, all forms of thoracic surgery can be performed through small incisions, without cutting the chest open as was necessary in the past. This is called minimally invasive thoracic surgery, and this revolutionary change in technique permits a shorter hospitalization and accounts for reduced pain compared to traditional methods.

For the past decade, I have performed many types of minimally invasive thoracic procedures. I routinely and successfully perform surgery for lung cancer, GERD, cancer of the esophagus (food pipe) and all tumors inside the chest, with excellent outcomes.

Besides the benefits of reduced pain and shorter hospitalization resulting from MITS, the ability to more quickly return to one’s usual way of life is of immense value to all patients and their families. Needless to say, this lessens the anxiety and can help overcome unwillingness to undergo major life-saving surgery, especially in older patients. For the same beneficial reasons of reduced pain and short hospitalization, successful surgery can be performed in patients with many pre-existing conditions including previous heart attacks, hypertension, diabetes and COPD. This is enormously meaningful for a large part of our population with these conditions. Smokers in particular, among whom these pre-existing conditions are more common, stand to gain even more from the shift to minimally invasive surgical techniques.

In concert with enhancing our thoracic surgery program, Valley Health is taking the lead in early detection of lung cancer with our low dose CT screening program. More broadly, our cancer program centered at Winchester Medical Center offers treatment with all available modalities, including surgery, radiation therapy and state-of-the art chemotherapy. The opening of our new Cancer Center at WMC in August 2016 is an affirmation of Valley Health’s commitment to offer cancer care matching that found at major academic institutions, so that patients in the Shenandoah Valley receive expert treatment and care close to home.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less blood loss
  • Reduced pain
  • Reduced time in the hospital
  • Quicker recovery
  • Better clinical outcomes, especially for patients who are not good candidates for standard surgical procedures due to age, physical condition or co-existing health challenges

Shalini R. Reddy, MD

Dr. Reddy received her general surgical training at Montefiore Hospital and Beth Israel Medical Center. This was followed by thoracic surgical training at SUNY Upstate Medical Center, with an additional fellowship in minimally invasive thoracic surgery at one of the nation’s premier cancer centers, Roswell Park Cancer Institute. She has also completed specialized training in robotic surgery. She is board-certified in general and thoracic surgery. Dr. Reddy serves as the medical director of thoracic surgery at Winchester Medical Center.

For a consultation or to learn more about minimally invasive surgery from Dr. Reddy and her staff, contact 540-536-6721 or visit Valley Health Cardiothoracic Surgeons.