Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) describes a minimally invasive approach to surgery in the chest.

Small Lung Nodules

A small mass of cells or tissue is called a nodule. Not all pulmonary, or lung, nodules are cancerous. In fact, there can be many small masses of cells in a lung and only some of them may represent early cancer.

Causes of Small Lung Nodules

Benign small lung nodules can occur because of old infections or scars, cysts, tuberculosis, or vascular abnormalities. If they cause no symptoms, which is often the case, treatment is seldom necessary.

If the nodules are malignant, it is often a sign that lung cancer exists and would need to be treated.


A biopsy of the nodules can be done with video-assisted thoracic surgery to help determine whether the nodules need to be removed.