Thoracic surgeons who are specially trained in minimally invasive techniques can provide video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and/or robotic thoracic surgery that benefits patients by allowing for quicker and less painful recovery times, less scarring, reduced blood loss, shorter hospital stays and potentially better long-term results. In video-assisted thoracic surgery, the surgeon uses a thoracoscope (a thin and flexible, tube-like instrument with a camera and light at the end) to access the chest cavity via a small incision. Other small incisions allow the introduction of additional surgical tools for removing tissue samples or growths. In robotic-assisted surgery, the surgeon uses the da Vinci Surgical System to perform extremely precise and ergonomically difficult surgical maneuvers from a computer console. This surgery is similar to VATS but may provide improved visualization of the operating field via 3-D imaging and easier access to certain tissues and lymph nodes.