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A close-up look at robotic lung surgery

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Modern technology is changing the face of lung cancer surgery. Robotic lung surgery is a procedure that is better for the patient.

"It's minimally invasive surgery. The incisions are smaller and less blood loss and the hospital stay is shorter and easier for patients," said Dr. Mark Cooper, a thoracic surgeon at Cabell-Huntington Hospital.

Plus, it's less painful with fewer complications. "The operation is conducted through general anesthetic and then the system is connected to the patient. The surgeon is controlling the machine, and then those movements are translated into the patient," said Dr. Cooper.

He says there are different types of cancer in different areas of the lung, meaning each case of lung cancer is different. "Patients who are candidates generally have localized disease and are in good shape to be able to tolerate the general anesthetic and the operation itself," said Dr. Cooper.

He says if you have shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing up blood, it's not necessarily lung cancer but you should be checked by a doctor. "The hospital has been extremely supportive in getting the neessary staff and training, the equipment and even having a robotics committee to take this to the next level," said Dr. Cooper.

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