A collapsed lung is often repaired using keyhole surgery (thoracoscopy), where small incisions are made to insert a tiny camera (endoscope) and surgical instruments. Hospital stay after a thoracoscopy is generally 1–4 days, or until any chest drain tubes have been removed.
Severe pneumonia is the most common cause of infected fluid accumulating in the pleural space between the lung and the chest wall. If the empyema is diagnosed promptly, the fluid can easily be removed using a chest drain or keyhole surgery (thoracoscopy).
Later diagnosis may mean that the body has produced scar tissue around the lung, preventing it from inflating fully. Patients are typically very short of breath, with a high fever and feel very sick. In such cases treatment will involve a larger operation (thoracotomy) to remove this ‘pleural peel’ tissue as well as the fluid.
Excessive sweating, particularly of the hands, can be successfully treated using keyhole surgery to eliminate a tiny part of the sympathetic nerve pathway in the chest.
Mr Scarci carries out this procedure, known as sympathectomy, with very small incisions. This means that patients experience only very minor discomfort after the operation and nearly all can go home the same day.